Archive for February, 2014

Are We Giving Our King Our Whole Hearts?

The Bible tells us that we will be blessed if we keep the Lord’s testimonies and commandments and seek to please Him with our whole hearts.

Psalms 119:10   With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.

Psalms 119:34   34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

Wholehearted means that our hearts are not divided into parts. Are our hearts being divided in one of these areas?

  • The way we talk about God’s goodness to others? Do we talk one way to our pastor and other church members, but then talk a completely different way to those who are not Christians.

Psalms 9:1 I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works (to everyone)

  • The way we treat our husbands and other family members? Many times the hardest people to be sweet and kind are those who are closest to us.

Proverbs 31:26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

  • The way we pray for others. It is easy to say, “I will be praying for you.” …but then we forget to pray.

1 Timothy 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

  • The way we dress? Are we dressing the way God, our husbands, and our pastors desire for us to dress. We must be willing to submit ourselves to those who are an authority in our lives and submit ourselves to them.

Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

  • The way we encourage others. Sometimes, we get our feelings hurt, because others haven’t encouraged us the way that we think they should…but think back…when was the last time that we encouraged them?

Mark 12:33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.

I once read an article about Queen Mary. She made it her practice to visit Scotland every year. She was so loved by the people that she often mingled with them freely without an escort. One afternoon, while walking with a group of children, some dark clouds came up unexpectedly.  She stopped at a nearby house to borrow an umbrella. She knocked on the door and explained to the woman who answered the door, “If you will lend me an umbrella, I will send it back to you tomorrow.” Since the woman did not recognize the Queen , she was reluctant to give this stranger her best umbrella, and she handed the Queen an umbrella that she intended to throw away. This umbrella was torn in several places and had several broken ribs.

The next day another knock was heard at the door. When the woman opened  the door, she was greeted by a royal guard, who was holding in his hand the woman’s old, tattered umbrella. “The Queen sent me,” he said. “She asked me to thank you for loaning her your umbrella.” For a moment the woman was stunned, then, she burst into tears. “Oh, what an opportunity I missed,” she cried. “I did not give the Queen my very best!”

What a great illustration to consider. Are we giving the King of Kings our very best and our whole hearts?

When my children were small,  I remember continually thinking, “What will my children think of me when they are twenty, thirty, or even forty years old?” I wanted to create memories for them that would last throughout their lifetime.  

Mother, what kind of memories are you creating for your children. Will they remember the times that you?

  • Knelt beside their beds and prayed with them
  • Took them on walks and talked to them about God’s wonderful creation
  • Memorized Scripture with them
  • Shared with them about God’s wonderful provisions and sovereignty
  • Hosted missionaries in your home
  • Read Bible stories and fun stories aloud to them
  • Listened to godly music while traveling and doing errands

It is so sad that some mothers are creating bad memories for their children. Will they remember the times that you?

  • Sat in front of the television and watched immoral programs
  • Yelled and fought with their fathers
  • Told them how stupid they were when they were just being children
  • Constantly criticized them
  • Became so involved with your own pleasures and hobbies that you did not have time to love and to nurture them
  • Listened to music about sex and immorality

Mothers, your children will remember!  You are creating memories. Make sure that that those memories are good ones.

Are You Tired and Discouraged?

Lord, Give Me Courage

I saw a little bird one day
Twas sitting on a wire.
The air was cold and frosty,
And one longed for the fire.

The little bird stretched wide his beak,
And melody flowed out.
He didn’t seem to mind the cold.
Just sang and looked about.

From out his feathered throat there came
A song of sure delight.
The wind blew hard, the snow swirled by.
He sang with all his might.

I bowed my head and said, “Dear Lord,
Make me like that small bird.
When things are cold and drear, oh, Lord,
Please make my song be heard.”

If I can sing when harsh winds blow,
And things are drear and cold.
I’ll be  of help to kindred hearts
Who’ve almost lost their hold.

“Lord, give me courage to sing out,
Though skies above seem gray.
And may I, like the little bird,
Help make a happy day.”

Be an Authentic Christian Mother

We can talk a good talk, but are we being authentic Christian mothers. Our children will know the difference. Here are a few things to remember when training your children to love the Lord.

1.     Cultivate a love in their hearts for Jesus. Demonstrate to them that you depend on the Lord for everything.

2.     Make sure your activities exhibit your love for the Lord. Do this by weaving spiritual lessons into your daily conversations and seizing every opportunity to speak of God.   Children are visual learners. What they see will impact them more than what they hear.

3.    During each day, make your child thirsty for God by playing cheerful Christian music in your home and car.

4.     To help prepare your children for future battles, memorize God’s Word with them .

5.     Tape Bible verses in conspicuous places to remind your children of your faith  in God.

Children must have an anchor that is beyond themselves. Their anchor must be in the principles of God’s Word.  

Remember this about your child’s heart:

  • By nature, his heart is sinful.
  • He needs you to hold him accountable and teach him to have good character.
  • Your example is shaping his view and  trust of God.
  • He feels secure when there is harmony and structure in your home.
  • Because he lacks discernment, he needs you to help him to distinguish between good and evil.
  • When he stumbles, he needs your unconditional love to teach him forgiveness and grace.
  • Your time is more important to him than your gifts.
  • Please never give up on him or stop praying for him.

Encourage Yourself through the Lyrics of Music

Psalms 59:16 But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.

David wrote this song (Psalm) when he was being hunted down by men who were seeking to kill him.  Despite his circumstances, David sang those lyrics and remembered God’s power and mercy.

Lyrics from spiritual songs and the Psalms have the power to heal and to encourage your hearts. Many times when you sing or read lyrics that praise God and His power, He speaks to your hearts and connects with your spirits through those lyrics.

1 Chronicles 16:9 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works.

Each Wednesday evening, our music director has been reading stories of hymn writers and the events of their lives that inspired them to write the hymns.  Hearing these stories,  I am encouraged even more when I sing  or read the lyrics to those songs.

Here is a story I just read concerning the hymn Abide with Me.

In 1847, as Henry Lyte  was dying of tuberculosis, he was inspired to write the hymn Abide with Me. He finished writing the lyrics on the Sunday that he gave his farewell sermon to his church.  The next day, he left for Italy to regain his health,  but he died three weeks later in Nice, France.

Abide with Me

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

God Has a Plan for Your Life-Even in Sickness

Don’t Squander Your Sickness

by Harold Vaughan

I believe it was Alexander McLaren who said, “You will never learn anything new about God except through adversity.” The Psalmist said, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes” (119:71). You have the opportunity to glean much from this situation—so don’t squander your sickness.

The Issue is not “Why me?” but “What now?”

The question in illness is not “Why did I get sick?”, or “Why did God allow this?”, but “What can I learn?” Blaming God or questioning God, for allowing affliction is a fruitless exercise. He is the Potter and we are the clay. Open your heart to discover “What now?” As someone has said, “Every affliction comes with a message from the heart of God

A Reminder of the Brevity of Life

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Ps. 90:12). Death and sickness are the consequences of the curse caused by sin. Our times are in His hands and we must choose to wisely invest our allotment of time. Let the things that will matter when it is all said and done be the things that matter NOW.

Focus on the Important Things

Faith, family, and friends are the important things. Prune away those things that won’t matter at the end of the day. Give yourself and your time to the people that will weep when you are gone.

Lean on Others

Ecclesiastes 4:12 states, “A three-fold cord is not easily broken.” You need a close circle of friends you can confide in, confess to, and draw counsel from. If you fall—they can lift you up. If you are cold—they can warm you up. If you are struggling—they can hold you up. If you are sad—thy can cheer you up.

Be Still and Know

Perhaps you reacted in fear after getting the bad news. Maybe you are baffled and feel incredibly ignorant of physiology and medical options. Your head is dizzied as you talk to numerous doctors and do research in order to discover the best treatment. You may be so shaken that you cannot even pray.

After surgery my doctor listed the symptoms I was experiencing: inability to concentrate, trouble sleeping, fatigue, etc. He told me I had Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. My doctor said, “You have never had a bullet this close to your head before.” He assured me this was very common and that emotional and physical side-effects come with the territory. If your reaction has not been perfect, you are not alone. Never forget the sun has a sinking spell every night, but it rises every morning!

So if you cannot focus spiritually, you can sit still in God’s presence and tell Him you are listening to all He wants to say to you. Print out appropriate Bible verses to read and meditate on.

Call the Elders

James 5:14-15 says the sick should call the elders (pastors) to pray “the prayer of faith” for divine healing. (Those praying for sick people should always pray “in faith.” Then if God chooses not to heal, at least it was not unbelief that missed the miracle.)

Allow Your Sickness to Aid in Your Sanctification

“He that has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin” (1 Pet. 4:1). When you think death is eminent, sin is no longer on your “to do” list. The last thing on your mind is willful sin. Illness can turn your attention to the eternal and away from transgression. “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word” (Ps. 119:67).

Let Your Misery become Your Ministry

Jesus ministered to the thief on the cross as He was dying on the cross. Don’t neglect to minister to people who are suffering while you are suffering. How much better to bear someone else’s burden rather than be preoccupied with your own. Let your “wake-up” call jolt you out of your reluctance to reach out to handicapped and suffering people.

Develop a Personal Ministry of Mercy

Christ was touched with the feelings of our infirmities. When you become infirm, you acquire an increased sensitivity to other people and their infirmities. When God raises you up, you should act on every impulse to pray with and pray for those in affliction.

Qualified for Service

“Champions are never chosen from the ranks of the unscarred.” What you learn in your season of darkness can offer a ray of light to those who are entering their dark night of the soul. You are uniquely qualified to comfort others with the same comfort you have been comforted with (2 Cor. 1:4). Seize every opportunity to minister to the suffering: (1) Listen to them (2) Love them (3) Lighten their load (4) and pray with them.

Don’t Lose Your Sense of Humor

The ability to laugh is good for you and those around you. I understand that it is no laughing matter when you enter your valley, but the day will come when your heart becomes more settled and it is good to lighten things up a bit. I know a young girl who took chemo and lost her hair. When it grew back it was a different color. Her comment was, “I always wanted to be a blonde anyway!” Looking on the lighter side is therapeutic and aids in healing.

Fill Your Mind with God’s Thoughts

“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” (Phil. 4:8). There comes a point when you have researched and read enough about your illness. Choose to mentally focus on the good things. Eliminate unnecessary negative and “what if” thinking. Start reading the BOOK and other books that offer help, hope, and healing to your heart. *(See below for recommended reading list.)

Consider Christ’s Sacrifice

Jesus paid our sin debt by becoming sin for us and dying in our place. He offers eternal life to all who trust in Him for salvation. There is healing in Christ’s scars—“He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows” (Isa. 53:4). Heaven is a place of ultimate healing where all the consequences of the Fall are erased. Just think: no sickness, no suffering, no sin, and no sorrow—forever!

*Helpful Books: Streams in the Desert by L, B, Cowman, The God of All Comfort by Hannah Whithall Smith, Don’t Waste Your Sorrows by Paul Billheimer, When Heaven is Silent by Ron Dunn, Be of Good Cheer by John Bishop.

“Who Are You, God?”

While praying one day a woman asked,

“Who are you, God?” He answered, I AM.”

 “But, who is I AM?”  She asked.

He replied,

I Am Love,

I Am Peace,

I Am Grace,

I Am Joy,

I Am Strength,

I Am the Creator,

I Am the Comforter,

I Am the Beginning and the End,

I Am the Way, Truth, and the Light”

With tears in her eyes she looked toward Heaven and said,

“ Now I understand, but who am I?”

God tenderly wiped the tears from her eyes and whispered,

“You are Mine.”

God’s Love Letter to You

My Child,

You may not know Me,
but I know everything about you. 

Psalm 139:1

I know when you sit down and when you rise up. 
Psalm 139:2

I am familiar with all your ways. 
Psalm 139:3

Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. 
Matthew 10:29-31

For you were made in My image. 
Genesis 1:27

In Me you live and move and have your being.
Acts 17:28

For you are My offspring. 
Acts 17:28

I knew you even before you were conceived. 
Jeremiah 1:4-5

I chose you when I planned creation. 
Ephesians 1:11-12

You were not a mistake,
for all your days are written in my book. 

Psalm 139:15-16

I determined the exact time of your birth
and where you would live. 

Acts 17:26

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. 
Psalm 139:14

I knit you together in your mother’s womb. 
Psalm 139:13

And brought you forth on the day you were born. 
Psalm 71:6

I have been misrepresented
by those who don’t know Me.

John 8:41-44

I am not distant and angry,
but am the complete expression of love. 

1 John 4:16

And it is My desire to lavish My love on you. 
1 John 3:1

Simply because you are my child
and I am your Father. 

1 John 3:1

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. 
Matthew 7:11

For I am the perfect Father. 
Matthew 5:48

Every good gift that you receive comes from My hand. 
James 1:17

For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. 
Matthew 6:31-33

My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. 
Jeremiah 29:11

Because I love you with an everlasting love. 
Jeremiah 31:3

My thoughts toward you are countless
as the sand on the seashore.

Psalm 139:17-18

And I rejoice over you with singing. 
Zephaniah 3:17

I will never stop doing good to you. 
Jeremiah 32:40

For you are My treasured possession. 
Exodus 19:5

I desire to establish you
with all My heart and all My soul. 

Jeremiah 32:41

And I want to show you great and marvelous things. 
Jeremiah 33:3

If you seek Me with all your heart,
you will find Me. 

Deuteronomy 4:29

Delight in Me and I will give you
the desires of your heart. 

Psalm 37:4

For it is I who gave you those desires. 
Philippians 2:13

I am able to do more for you
than you could possibly imagine. 

Ephesians 3:20

For I am your greatest encourager. 
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

I am also the Father who comforts you
in all your troubles. 

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When you are brokenhearted,
I am close to you. 

Psalm 34:18

As a shepherd carries a lamb,
I have carried you close to my heart. 

Isaiah 40:11

One day I will wipe away
every tear from your eyes. 

Revelation 21:3-4

And I’ll take away all the pain
you have suffered on this earth.

Revelation 21:3-4

I am your Father, and I love you
even as I love my son, Jesus.

John 17:23

For in Jesus, My love for you is revealed. 
John 17:26

He is the exact representation of my being. 
Hebrews 1:3

He came to demonstrate that I am for you,
not against you. 

Romans 8:31

And to tell you that I am not counting your sins.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 
2 Corinthians 5:18-19

His death was the ultimate expression
of My love for you. 

1 John 4:10

I gave up everything I loved
that I might gain your love. 

Romans 8:31-32

If you receive the gift of My Son Jesus,
you receive Me. 

1 John 2:23

And nothing will ever separate you
from My love again.

Romans 8:38-39

Come home and I’ll throw the biggest party
heaven has ever seen.

Luke 15:7

I have always been Father,
and will always be Father.

Ephesians 3:14-15

My question is…
Will you be My child? 

John 1:12-13

I am waiting for you. 
Luke 15:11-32

Love, Your Dad
Almighty God

Permission to reprint: 
Please feel free to copy and paste the text of Father’s Love Letter to share with others
providing you abide by the following conditions…
1. You use the Father’s Love Letter text in its entirety.
2. You do not use it for commercial purposes
3. You include the following copyright notice wherever it is displayed…
Father’s Love Letter used by permission Father Heart Communications