Proverbs 16:24

"Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." -Proverbs 16:24

April 26, 2012

getting serious about our hearts...

There are two places in the (NIV) Bible where the phrase 'guard your heart' comes up.

I grew up knowing and hearing that phrase all the time. But I didn't understand what it meant or how to do it until I was pregnant, single, heart-broken, abandoned (feeling) and at rock-bottom.

I gave pieces of my heart to a dozen different boys. I gave pieces of my heart to people whose affections and attentions I desired. I gave my body to different boys and tried unsuccessfully to not let my heart go with that.

Guarding your heart isn't just about boyfriends. And it isn't just about sex.

Guarding your heart is about placing your heavenly Father and wise Creator as a guard in front of all else. A filter, a screen, a bodyguard. It is about forcing out everything until you are certain that your number one (Jesus Christ) is and always will be first. It is about clinging to purity, not as a minimum 'no sex' policy, but as a maximum security lifestyle and state of mind.

It is about keeping the things about you that God made beautiful and protecting them. Holding on to your sweet gift of a heart for whatever gives you drive and passion. It is wearing fuzzy socks and dancing around because no boy matters as much as being yourself. It is about keeping your secrets sometimes and not sharing them just in a desperate attempt to create 'intimacy'.

Proverbs 4:23- Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Wellspring is defined as an original and bountiful source of something. That means that God didn't give us a little is bountiful. It is the original source of God, given to us at creation. It is our temple and home for our Savior.

The second place that 'guard your heart' is used is in Philippians 4:6-8. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

This verse gives us a genius practical application lesson. How do I guard my heart? I pray and accept the promise of God's peace - in EVERYTHING. I keep my mind pure by focusing on truth, nobility, and things that are right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.

So, let's see. Where did I fail? Let's run the list of things I often thought about against the list of things I should have been thinking about...

1. Staying skinny....not real noble or praiseworthy.
2. Having 'trendy', 'hot' clothes...not pure or lovely.
3. Physical touch, often...not pure and not admirable, and not believing truth about how good waiting is!
4. Drinking, smoking...not pure, not admirable, not right, not noble, not excellent....
5. Ignoring my parents 'nagging' (aka wisdom)...not right, noble or excellent.

That list could go on FORever.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this. I want to allow my struggles and my sin to become a testimony of God's grace, His perfect, timely, saving grace. And His unconditional love. UNconditional.

I am especially hopeful that some younger girls will read this and something will click. I never slowed down enough and accepted enough wisdom to let this 'click' and my life spun out of control and my heart was so far from guarded that it got passed around, stepped on, used, abused and mailed back to me covered in filth. I pray that I can pass on enough to help even just one girl learn to guard her heart.

Thanks for listening :)

April 22, 2012

my kind of happy

Psalm 37-
1 Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the LORD
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.
10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy peace and prosperity.

One of our pastors spoke on this verse today. He was sharing about worry. The Bible says not to worry. Yet we do it. I do it all.the.time.

Worry is a sin. A big, ugly black sin. And we don't treat it as such. We feel justified in worrying. But the root of our worry is usually anger, control issues or fear. And we know that anger, control issues and fear are sins because those are big 'Do Nots'. But worry means that we are trusting God, we are submitting to His control, we are afraid of what may or may not happen, and we are angry about the situation being out of our control.

Verse three of Psalm 37 says " in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture." Another translation says " in the Lord and do good; befriend or feed on faithfulness." How powerful, what an image. That I should be "tasting and seeing that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8).

What a great sermon...just wanted to pass on those nuggets that I was being challenged by!