Matters of the Heart

I’m taking a detour from Part 3 of All Things Weak due to an unexpected trip I made this week to Prescott, AZ to house sit for a friend.  The bonus is that I also get to spend time with my #6 child, Brad who lives here and serves on staff at The Heights Church and catch up with some dear, dear friends.

I’ll have another story of “weakness” to share with you next week as I try to highlight yet another example of how God’s power is being made perfect in weakness.  I will be blogging about my best friend from Jr. High & High School who just came back into my life in the past few months (thank you Facebook).  Her story will cause you to celebrate!

So I had this idea: I’m asking anyone who wants to participate …to bake a cake this coming Sunday (or Monday), for your family of course, to celebrate Michele’s 1 year Birthday with Jesus (which just took place). And if you would kindly send me a photo of your cake I’ll be sure to share it with Michele via my Facebook page. You can send your photo via a reply to my post next Monday, or tweet me (@mamastreets) or send me an email to: betsy@leaderwithin.org.

In the mean time, please pray for Michele this week as she prepares to share her story (publicly) for the first time.   God is doing a great work in her life and in her family and I can’t wait to introduce you to her!  May her life be a reminder to all of us to never give up on those in our lives (be they family, friend, neighbor, co-worker, or enemy) who are living life apart from God’s amazing love and grace!

Father, in your great and mighty name, we pray for those who do not yet know you.  May they cross from death to life, according to your perfect plan and your perfect timing. Amen.

Thank you!

As for this week’s blog

My day (yesterday) started when I awoke to this beautiful snow fall.

No surprise…we Clevelander’s get our fair share of snow during the winter season, and I admit that I am not quite ready for those cold Erie north winds to roll our way and usher in another long winter…and yet….

there is something that moves my heart deep within

whenever a new season roll around; the first buds of spring, the flowers and trees when they are in full bloom, the changing of the leaves, and…yes…that first snowfall.

What is it about the changing of the seasons that cause this effect on my heart? 

Do you ever stop and wonder about the things that move your heart?

I’m so thankful that God knows how quick we are to forget things of importance.

So I am learning to value his reminders…and the many ways in which he reminds me through:

His Word…family & friends…Great Books…Fellow-bloggers…and yes…even

Fresh-Fallen Snow!

I finally got around to reading a book that has been on my must-read list for a while, A Work of Heart by Reggie McNeal.  God used this book to remind me of a few things concerning matters of the heart.

(my writing corner today)

I love this book for many reasons:

  • I love that in the first few pages, McNeal references one of my all time favorite leadership books, The Making of a Leader, by Bobby Clinton, who masterfully illustrates the way in which God moves leaders forward (six phases) – each phase being guided by the sovereign plan of God, developed over a lifetime, and comes about though heart-shaping events. 

And because I am a huge fan of Bobby Clinton…

  • I also love how McNeal emphasizes God’s intentions to conform our hearts to His.
  • I love how he encourages me chapter by chapter, to stay in the game of letting God shape and refine my heart! And….
  • I love how he reminds me to stay connected / in community with other like-minded followers of Christ and claim my place within the culture.

I have learned many things throughout the years concerning matters of the heart…but I am in my 50’s now…and the memory ticker is losing some of its tock if you know what I’m saying.

So I welcome God’s reminders these days concerning:

  • his heart,
  • my own heart,
  • and the heart of others.

My voice, my life, and my influence upon others, upon the world, and the Kingdom of God, hinges upon how honest I am regarding the condition of my heart..and…it hinges upon yours too, friend.

All that to say…

I am trying to pay more attention to the things that move me...the things that make me cry….those scenes in movies, and in real life, that cause the lump in my throat to swell…the matters of life that stir the ‘deep-within’ part of my heart.

I have come to realize that the things that move my heart, are usually also the things that moves God’s.  Knowing this helps me to stay focused on Jesus and on the places where I can shine his light of hope.  As for me….(just to name a few)

  • I lose all control when I watch a groom see his bride when she takes that first step around the corner with her dad.  Does me in every time!
  • I weep when I see a baptism – when a person who was far from God…takes their place in the kingdom of God and embraces new life in Christ!  There’s something about people being restored that makes me well up with tears of joy!
  • I lose my composure when I see a father and daughter doing anything together…and really enjoying each other.
  • And when I see a mother meet her baby for the first time or being tender with her child…I become undone.

So much of my motivation to write is because I have so loved drawing near to God’s heart over many years of walking with Jesus.  He has met me at the heart level.  He has healed me at the heart level.  He has changed my motives at the heart level.  And he is leading me to new places in my life at the heart level.  Places of….

  • Joyful Surrender (having a clean heart),
  • Christ-led Vision (from a pure heart),
  • Faith-filled action (with a servant heart) and
  • Love-motivated Obedience (confidence in God’s heart)

So yes…God’s reminders are so good!  And I am so grateful he continues to remind me of those place in the recesses of my heart where he is still working and where he causes me to be ultra-sensitive to others.

One last thing about my new author ‘friend’

  • I love that Reggie McNeal responded to my email when I wrote to him recently. I wrote to let him know how God was using him to encourage me – little did I know how God would use me to encourage him, too.  But then again…that’s the way God works isn’t it?

Heart to heart.

Life on Life.

One life and one heart at a time.

My writing corner yesterday (where I wrote the majority of today’s blog)

…a quiet little nook at The Heights Church Youth Office

Until next time friend…if you’d like to share a few things that move your heart…please do so! Let’s encourage each other as we reflect on the way God wants to change us from the INSIDE OUT!

Think it through:

  1. What kind of life/creation/relational situation make you cry?
  2. What movie scenes move you deep within and brings you to tears (or a minimum causes a lump in your throat? (please do share)
  3. What cause or area of brokenness in the world has God laid his heart over yours?
  4. What is one area where you know your heart is not right?  Talk to God about it.
  5. How might he use the things that break your heart – to bring his love to others?
God bless you as your reflect on the condition of your heart, but more importantly…I pray that you will take some time this week to reflect upon the love that God has for you!
After all
We love because he first loved us!
Have a great week living from the heart!

One thought on “Matters of the Heart

  1. Michele Hildebrand says:

    What causes that “lump” in my throat? One, reading Betsy’s blog each week! It has profoundly touched my heart! I look forward to it every week! What movies make me cry? Passion of Christ..all of it but especially the scene with Mary as Jesus is being led to His fate..also The Seventh Sign..when Demi Moore is giving birth and she is asked “would you die for Him?”, this gets me every time! Every time I reflect on what God has done for me in this short year..I am moved to tears..I never thought I deserved His love! And now..His loves encompasses me in every aspect of my life! I am truly blessed!! Thank you Betsy for another lesson in love this week! Thank you Lord for putting me back together again!

    Michele

    Like

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