Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What's on YOUR heart?

You may have noticed that my posts are fewer and farther between the last couple of weeks.  We have been in revival out of town and have been busy with a lot of ministry preparation.  My last post, "When the dust settles", gives great insight into what the Lord has been doing in our lives.
I am just curious as to which topics in your Christian life are on YOUR heart.   If you have an area in your life in which you are struggling or want to hear more about, please submit that info in the prayer request box.  I want to remind you that ALL INFO submitted in the Prayer Request Box is CONFIDENTIAL.  Thank you in advance for giving your input.


As we begin a new week, I want to remind you that we are not promised tomorrow.  God has us here now for a purpose.  Press into Him and seek HIS will for your days and how you spend your time.  We are in a very desperate time in the world as there is so much confusion, hurt, pain, and evil.  However, we have a God who has overcome this world and has a plan.  Keep looking to Him for your answers to your questions.  He loves you!

I HAVE TOLD YOU THESE THINGS, SO THAT IN ME YOU MAY HAVE PEACE.  IN THIS WORLD YOU WILL HAVE TROUBLE.  BUT TAKE HEART! I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.  John 16:33

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

When the Dust settles

Today I was reminded of a very important thing:  this life is not about me, my will, and my plans.  Sometimes as Christians, we get so busy "doing" things for the Lord, that before we know it we are racing through each day and forget to check in with our Boss.  Now, I'm not necessarily referring to having "quiet time", reading one quick devotional and checking it off your list.  I am referring to getting still before God, opening up your heart, laying all your life and what occupies your life before Him and saying: Am I on the path YOU want me to be on?  Am I still in line and in tune with Your Spirit and will for my life? 


We often start off whole-heartedly following God's plan for our life, however we find ourselves too busy and running so fast that we don't take real time to re-evaluate.  When we stop and be still before the Lord, we might find that as all the "dust" settles, that we may in fact be on the wrong path.  We started off surrendering everything to Him, but one choice at a time, we may be following OUR will and not God's.  I want to encourage you today to "be still".  Find a quiet place at a quiet time and just spend some time with God.  Ask Him to look at what keeps you busy and to cull out anything that is not His will for your life.  This will take more than 15 minutes.  You may have to stay up later, get up earlier, turn off the TV, take a walk alone; but find this time.  Often when we find ourselves in a place where we have no joy, no passion, and no strength, then we are seeking our own plans and not His plans.  As Christians we have made the choice that our lives belong to Jesus.  He has much more for us than we can even imagine if we would simply let go of our will and cling to His will for our life.   I want to encourage you to let the dust settle in your busy life today and just be still before God.


BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD. I WILL BE HONOERED BY EVERY NATION.  I WILL BE HONORED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.   Psalms 46:10

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Can He be trusted?

We are on Spring Break this week! I hope you are well and enjoying the warmer days.
 
Just a quick question that is on my heart this morning: Can God REALLY be trusted? Your answer to that question will determine the steps you take today and everyday. We often, almost flippantly, express that we trust God and His ways.  However, do we really trust Him?

Trusting God is not simply trusting that only good things will come about, it is trusting that God is who He says He is, no matter what we face.  In Romans 8 we learn alot about his heart.  If we truly believe that God loves us, deeply loves us, then we can trust that He will have the final word in our circumstances.  In John 16, Jesus tells us that we WILL have trouble in this world.  On the other hand, He reminds us that He has overcome this world.  So, no matter what you find yourself facing today, I want to encourage you to not doubt God's love for you.  In Romans 8, we are reminded that NOTHING can separate us from God's love.  Now, if He truly loves us, then we can trust that He will take care of us.

You may be walking through a dark time in your life; however, you are not alone.  In Hebrews 13 we are reminded that God will never leave us nor forsake us.  If we are His child, then we are in great hands. So, take heart!  God can be trusted.  Get into God's word today.  He has given us many promises that we can trust and stand on!

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  Romans 8:28New Living Translation (NLT)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Dependent or Independent?

In our world today being independent is something that is valued.  I mean who doesn't like someone who is self-sufficient and independent? Who doesn't like someone who rolls up their sleeves and gets stuff done? So, what is wrong with being independent? Well, nothing at all unless you are referring to your relationship with God.  God is God and I am not.  He is all-powerful and all-knowing.  He knows things I don't know. He created me, not the other way around. I NEED Him.  I AM dependent on Him.  So, to try and live my life in my own wisdom and in my own power is just crazy.  Sometimes we have this mentality that we need Jesus to save us from Hell but after that we can take over.  We sometimes wait until a crisis or until we can't "figure" things out and then we go to God for wisdom and strength.

Matthew 18:3 says: And He said: Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.  How do we adults become like little children again?  Many people think that this scripture is referring to trusting God and having a faith as a child.  However, my husband Chad often reminds me that children are not always trusting.  When one of our sons had a splinter in their foot, Chad would get a needle to help get the splinter out. The boys wouldn't always have faith that He was doing what was best for them. They would squirm and yell BEFORE the needle would even touch their skin.  However, Chad points out that one thing is always true; little children are ALWAYS dependent on their parents or caretakers.  Think about it, trust and dependence go hand in hand.  If you trust God with your life, you will depend on HIS wisdom, HIS strength, HIS grace, HIS love, HIS Word, HIS direction.  We face battles everyday in our lives, but fighting God for control should not be one of these battles.  We trust God to save us from Hell yet we struggle to trust and depend on Him for all our needs.  I am not just talking about our physical needs, I am talking about our emotional and spiritual needs as well.  So while being independent can be good , there is no place for independence in our relationship with Christ.  It's okay to need Jesus.  Everyone needs Jesus. 

For years I would feel embarrassed that I was such a "needy" person.  I would sometimes battle depression and anxiety.  At first, I would hide the fact that I was wrestling with these things because I thought as a Christian I shouldn't have these struggles.  Admitting our need for Christ is the first step for true healing and freedom.  The truth is, God KNOWS we are needy and He knows we must have His Spirit and power.  We are only kidding ourselves when we try to be independent from Him.

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.  That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NLT

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Press On Wednesday: What's driving you?

We talk about health each Wednesday.  We usually talk about health goals, food choices, or exercise. However, today I want to talk about what is driving us toward a healthy lifestyle.  What IS driving you today? Is it a drive to be accepted by society? Is it a drive to become someone that people would approve of and love? Is it that you feel unlovable being overweight? Is it to look like you have it together?
When the foundation of our healthy lifestyle is the fact we don't feel loved or that we feel we have to earn our worth, we set ourselves up for failure. If we stop short of a health goal, we feel like a loser. We tie our worth in what we do instead of who we are.  However, when the foundation of your health goals is based on a sense of value because of who you are in Christ, you can make a mistake on your diet and not spiral down.  Our worth and value is NOT in what we look like or in reaching all our goals. True value and worth is found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
As we continue our healthy lifestyle journey, let's keep in mind, that as Christians, we are not working towards value and worth, but working from it.

For we are God's masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.  Ephesians 2:10
Press On Wednesday is in Memory of my Dad, Troy

Thursday, March 5, 2015

AND THE WINNER IS.......

KELLY ROBINSON

Congratulations Kelly, you are the winner of the $10 Gift Certificate to Family Christian Stores!   Thank you all for entering the give away.  We will have more giveaways in the future. 

BY THE WAY, this post is the 100th post of Hopeful Heart!!  Thank you all for reading Hopeful Heart and sharing it with others.  We appreciate you telling others about this blog as our mission is to share Jesus with all our readers.  God bless you all!


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Press On Wednesday: Got sleep?

When we are young, sleep seems to get in the way.  Have you ever noticed how a toddler often fights naptime?  There is just too many other important things to do besides sleep.  On the other hand, teens tend to love sleep, and although they stay up late, seem to enjoy making up for it by sleeping all morning.  However, adults often only dream of getting enough sleep.  With all the responsibilities at home, we often find ourselves staying up til 11 or 12 pm and back up by 5 or 6 am.  Often, those 6 or so hours of sleep are interrupted by needing to go to the bathroom, a barking dog, or a crying child.  If we stay on a cycle of not getting enough sleep, we will begin to see certain SIGNS that our health is suffering.  So, how much is enough?  I found a cool chart on the National Sleep Foundations website.  Click HERE to find the chart. 


If you have trouble sleeping, I have some advice.  First, stop drinking caffeine after lunch and try to eat supper by 6pm.  Also, try taking a hot bath about 30 minutes prior to bed time.  The bath will help you relax and settle down for a good sleep. Furthermore, if you want to go to sleep by 10, then make 9:30 your bedtime. At bedtime turn off all electronics, television, and cell phones.  Spend that last 30 minutes of your day praying and reading your Bible or a  Christian book.  Try these suggestions for a few days and see if it helps you.  For more suggestions, click HERE. I hope today's blog will serve as a helpful reminder to us all; sleep is important! 


IN PEACE I WILL LIE DOWN AND SLEEP, FOR YOU ALONE, O LORD, WILL KEEP ME SAFE.  PSALM 4:8
Press On Wednesdays in Memory of My Dad, Troy