Heart Issues, Showing love

Heart Condition Change

gerbera-flower

Did you know today’s children and young adults are the least Christian generation our nation has ever had?

It’s true.

So recently, when my daughter came crying to me about “fake” friends who consistently lie (about big and small things) and have no follow-through on what they say they’ll do, I reminded her about the fact above.

Because, see, my daughter isn’t a perfect friend. Neither am I! We’ve both messed up numerous times and had to ask for forgiveness from God and those we’ve wronged. But we do have conviction, which is not the same as condemnation which refers to guilt and shame. Conviction comes from the Holy Spirit, who lives within us and keeps us from sin and stirs repentance when we fail. The Holy Spirit is just that: holy. Therefore, any sin ruffles His feathers, so to speak. All sin breaks the Almighty’s heart.As Christ followers, the Holy Spirit who lives within us convicts us of sin. The Holy Spirit is just that, HOLY. Click To Tweet

But those without the Holy Spirit don’t feel conviction the same way when they hurt someone else, whether intentionally or unintentionally. They don’t receive the same prompt or drive from their soul to be loyal, truthful, or forgiving.Without the Holy Spirit, people don’t feel conviction the same way when they hurt someone else, whether intentionally or unintentionally. They don’t receive the same prompt from their soul to be loyal, truthful, or forgiving. Click To Tweet

Satan blinds and deceives non-believers and entices them to sin. They have no power to resist it, but believers do.

This deception affects our young generation and blinds humanity to atrocities. It hinders our boldness to speak out and gains generations of footholds to keep us in bondage to the devil and his schemes of dissension, hurt, pain, abuse, and death. The lack of the Holy Spirit or the stuffing of Him down has blinded us to atrocities, made us uncomfortable so as to keep us quiet, and gained generations of footholds to keep us in bondage to the devil. Click To TweetIt’s no wonder these young people aren’t turning to God when they see their elders acting the way they do. How can we expect right reactions to injustices, abuse, or lies if our heart is already in a state of sadness and disorder? How can we expect those who cause the abuse, distresses, and disagreements in our country to see their own faults if their heart is also diseased? And what if we’re the ones causing this heartache and don’t see it?

Kristen Quote

Only the Holy Spirit can change our young generation and our world. God needs to transform the heart to affect systematic change. We can’t expect others to respond correctly if they’re unaware of a problem. We must call upon Jesus for revival and awakening—for how can we be only revived if we’ve never awakened to God in the first place? Our youth must recognize their heart disease, challenge it, fix it, heal it, and then move forth, serving God in His Kingdom work.

We must recognize our own heart disease, challenge it, and invite God to fix it, and heal it, then we must move forth, serving God in His Kingdom work. Click To TweetHow? We start by inviting people into our homes. Those of all ages, including those who don’t look like you. Love them well. Care about them. Listen to them. Be someone they can count on in a world that lets them down. With God’s guidance, we can help soften hearts through Christian love.

So, as I try with meager parenting skills to guide my daughter in relationships, I can invest in her generation. I can welcome her friends into my home and care for them in tangible ways like cooking and transporting. I can always invite them to church with us, support their activities, and say, “I love you.”

What can we all do to affectively change hearts around us? Let us know in the comments below!

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Heart Issues

The Redirection of An Emotional Heart attack

I cannot describe how outrageous 2019 actually was.  There were many days I felt I couldn’t breathe. I ended up in the emergency room because of the aching in my chest that I honestly believed was a heart attack. I’ve had all the tests; my physical heart is fine. It seemed that it was my emotional heart that was aching and broken. I felt I was endlessly searching for some truth and light in the midst of a torrential sea of darkness.  A shift came as I learned my need to be reconciled to the fact that things had to happen last year for me to become the woman God created me to be. Click To Tweet

I spent hours going over everything trying to figure out what had gone wrong. I released a friendship of five plus years for reasons I still don’t fully understand but have come to accept. I stepped out of leading ministry and a Bible study group, quit two jobs, was unemployed for several weeks, and felt a piercing loneliness.

Through all the pain, I found my comfort in God, spending hours immersing myself in His promises, searching Scripture for answers and direction for the future. Click To Tweet I’ve often encouraged friends when they found themselves in these places with verses I believed breathed life into them but none of those brought peace. The healing came as I breathed in grace-filled nuggets of truth I had not noticed before. Praise was on my lips day and night in an effort to reclaim all that I’d lost.

I found hope in verses such as “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). Sermons that taught me about making dead things come alive. Genesis 28:16 says, “Surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it!” Seriously, I did not recognize His intervening on my behalf and this verse helped me remember God is with me. There were songs that resonated with my heart cry of knowing who God says I am that gave me courage to keep moving forward.

In sweet surrender, I finally laid aside all the angst associated with past pain and began to progress towards healing. The transforming work of the Holy Spirit became more prevalent, teaching me to relinquish control. Click To Tweet I’m grateful I serve a God who gently yet consistently nudges me towards the path He has for me.

As I look forward to 2020, I am ready to resume actively pursuing my journey in Christ, hand in hand with my Savior. Won’t you join me?

Where are you at in 2020? Are you excited for what God has ahead or are you feeling discouraged and defeated? What can you do to today to find strength, anticipation, and encouragement in Christ? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below and connect with us on Facebook and Instagram.

Make sure to check out our latest Bible reading plan, available for free on the YouVersion Bible Reading App:

Grace Reading Plan ImageChrist’s grace has the power to change everything. We don’t have to strive, to compete or compare, or question whether or not we measure up. We’re enough because Christ in us in enough. The cross of Christ sets us free.

Find it HERE.

 

 

 

Heart Issues

The Care and Keeping of Our Hearts

woman looking out the window at the night-time city(Taken from Wholly Loved Devotionals on Crosswalk. Find them HERE.)

My heart, when left unprotected, inevitably begins to decay. The busier I am, the greater my stress, the greater the threat. If I want to remain strong and filled with the love, truth, and peace of Christ, I need to guard against negative influences while soaking in all that is good and right and true.

When my daughter was young, I ached for adult conversation. She was an only child, and I worried she was lonely as well, so I began signing us up for low-cost activities and social clubs. I became deeply engaged with one group in particular. We met numerous times each week, for outings and park days or to simply sit in one another’s homes. Unfortunately, our discussions often centered on life’s difficulties and how terrible or inconsiderate everyone’s husband was.

I’d like to say I managed to listen without getting sucked into the toxic vortex, but I didn’t. I always left frustrated with my life and marriage.

Then, one day, reality hit. I realized I always left those interactions crabby and dissatisfied, with life and my husband. These “venting” women were actually harming my marriage. I needed to be selective with my influences—to guard against negativity while intentionally studying and contemplating and learning to live in truth.

The winds may blow, but the woman anchored in Christ has deep, immovable roots. Drought may woman prayingcome, and a heat wave may beat upon her branches, but though these outward challenges are unpleasant, they won’t and can’t destroy her, because she is continually fed by the sweet, pure stream that will never run dry.

Her fruitfulness isn’t dependent on her circumstances or outward influences but the strength, wisdom, and power of God’s Spirit welling up within.

This is God’s call for all of us.

If you found today’s post helpful, you may also enjoy Wholly Loved’s Christmas Bible Reading Plan, Preparing Our Hearts for the Holidays. Find it HERE.

Wholly Loved’s holiday devotion, Intentional Holidays. Find it HERE.

Join our private Facebook group by clicking below. We’re also gearing up for spring conferences. We’d love to come to you! Visit our Conference Page for information on some of our most popular presentations, and contact us HERE to book us for your next event.

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Additional resources:

30 Days of Emotional Health Bible Reading Plan by Wholly Loved

Cultivating a Thankful Heart Bible Reading Plan by Jennifer Slattery

Unclogging Our Spiritual Valves by Jennifer Slattery

The Anatomy of a Tender Heart and a Strong Voice by Amy Carrol

The Heart You Know and the Heart You Don’t by John Piper

Psalm 1: The Way of the Righteous and the Way of the Ungodly, by Enduring Word Bible Commentary

Heart Issues

Cultivating a Thankful Heart

Image of colored leaves and text to 2 Cor. 9:11

Happy Thanksgiving from the Wholly Loved family!

Sometimes, I get so caught up in rushing about, I forget to pause and say thanks. But when I do, peace ushers in as my mind shifts off of all that could or maybe has gone wrong to all that has gone right. To all the abundant blessings God provides each day, and those are numerous. If I were to contemplate my relationship with Christ and all the spiritual blessings He’s provided, that alone would give me ample reason for praise.

I’ve been adopted into an eternal, inter-connected family.

I’ve been redeemed.

I’ve been washed clean–given a new slate and, each day, a chance to begin again.

I’ve been lavished by grace and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

But most importantly, I’ve been given the gift of intimacy with my Savior.

Pause this afternoon or perhaps this evening to contemplate all the gifts God has given you in His Son. Write Him a letter thanking for Him each one, and see if that doesn’t elevate your heart to praise and connect you, on a deeper level, with the Giver of all that is right and true and beautiful and eternal.

Then make sure to check out our holiday Bible reading plan, available for FREE on the YouVersion app. You can find it HERE.