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The Value of a Woman - Mary Magdalene

Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomband saw two angels in white,seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there,but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

He asked her,“Woman, why are you crying?Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

Jesus said to her,“Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic,“Rabboni!”(which means “Teacher”).

—John 20:11-16




Mary Magdalene.

One of the most mentioned women in the New Testament. She is also the most misunderstood, rumored, and gossiped about woman from the Bible. She has been called a prostitute. She has even been called the mistress or wife of Jesus. Art, books, movies, and plays have only served to perpetuate these erroneous attributes.

So, who is this Mary Magdalene actually?

Mary was one of the most common names in her day, so to distinguish her from the other New Testament women, she is always referred to by the town she grew up: Magdala (“Tower”) Tarichaea (“Salted Fish”). Located on the coast of Galilee, it was once a thriving seafaring and textile town; now it is nonexistent. According to Jewish text, this place did have a seedy reputation, which is possibly one of the aspects that has added to the rumors. This is also one of the reasons scholars believe she was not married as she would have been referred to differently.

Mary was possessed by seven demons. Her torment was probably beyond what we can even imagine, with evil forces battling inside her. She was most likely in great disarray and anguish when she encountered Jesus: hair disheveled, movements beyond control, eyes glaring or afflicted... But this sought-after teacher and Messiah, Jesus, had compassion on her and healed her of this terrible infliction. (Luke 8:1-3; Mark 16:9)

This marked her. It changed her. She had an encounter with Jesus, and she was forever changed. She was grateful, and she showed it with her actions.This is what scholars agree marks Mary the most: Mary was devoted to Jesus. 


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Parenting is not for sissies

Parenting is not for sissies


Just when I thought I had this parenting thing down, my kids became Teenagers.  While we might remember those challenges of being a teen, things are different today, and that means we parents could use a little help. 

CLICK HERE to listen to the podcast of Jo's interview with Dr. Jim Burns on his book, Understanding Your Teen: Shaping their Character, Facing their Realities. 

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When Life Feels Monotonous and the Future Questionable - Ruth

When Life Feels Monotonous and the Future Questionable - Ruth

 God has not called me to be successful, He called me to be faithful.—Mother Teresa

If anybody understands, it would be Ruth. When her husband died, instead of returning home and starting again, she chose the harder path of traveling and taking care of her mother-in-law.

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Where to go when when we've lost our way

Where to go when when we've lost our way


Does disappointment sometimes take the reigns of your life? When life doesn't turn out the way we thought it would, how can we keep walking and still trust God for our future?

Click HERE to listen to the podcast of Jo's conversation with Crystal Evans Hurst on her book, She's Still There: Rescuing the Girl in You.

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Women of the Bible: Divine Appointment - Esther

It was raining outside, the day I stared out the window of my mentor’s office, hoping our visit would help me determine my next steps. I had witnessed a horrible wrong, done not only to me, but to others like me. Many were suffering, and many more would suffer as news of this wrong spread. I wanted compassion. I wanted a shoulder to cry on. I wanted someone to listen and agree with my reasons for hurt, anger, and fear.

But I did not get my wish. Instead, I received a challenge to take that fear that kept me wrapped in a ball on her couch and toss it aside. “You have access,” she said. “You have a voice that others do not have,” she reasoned. “What if you are the one God has given this experience to so that you will stand up and speak? What if you’ve been placed in your position, in your situation, for such a time as this?”



I had heard those words before. “For such a time as this,” were words echoed to Queen Esther thousands of years ago when her uncle, Mordecai, let her in on a terrible secret—that all of the Jews of Susa were going to be rounded up and killed. That included her uncle, her friends from the village, and her—if anyone ever found out that she was not Persian, like she said she was, but was indeed a Jew.

Esther, like me, had a choice. Would she stand up and be heard? Would she risk embarrassment, ridicule, or death in order to stand up for those whose lives were at stake?

Esther’s road to “Queen-ship” wasn’t typical. She was a teenage girl from a small village who agreed to take place in a beauty pageant of sorts. King Xerxes had recently decreed that all beautiful young women should compete for the King’s favor. He was searching to fill a void created by the quick dismissal of his last Queen, Vashti, when she refused to appear before a group of rowdies, drunk, men at one of the King’s lavish parties (I happen to like Vashti, but that’s a subject for another blog). Esther, a young Jewish girl from outside the palace, gave herself the Persian name, Hadassah, and entered the contest. To her surprise, King Xerxes chose her! But she had not been Queen for long when a crisis occurred. The King’s chief advisor hated the Jews and wanted them eliminated from the land. He convinced the King to sign a decree that would bring death to all Jews.

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We Heart Matters Publishing gals care about women. Their joys. Their struggles. Their everyday, ordinary lives. We write from those very same places hoping to uplift, challenge and encourage your soul and deepen your faith.

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The Heart Matters Gals

  • Julie


    I’m turning 60 next month. I can hardly believe it myself. But, I’ve decided that I no longer want to live comfortably. I want to live with a spirit of adventure like I had in the past. To be unafraid of what’s new or different. I want to remain so open to the Spirit of the living God that his love compels me to go wherever he leads me.
  • LuAnn


    I am passionate about people leaning into all that Jesus is. You. Me. Us. Journeying together with God. This is my greatest blessing. And now that my kiddos are out on their own, I’m learning to navigate my new normal. And I am finding there is life after little ones and teens after all!
  • Jo


    Jo is a writer, Bible teacher, and radio host. She has served as a missionary in Mexico, at a mega-church in Minnesota, and as a meteorologist in the Midwest. Today, she enjoys spending time with her family, interviewing all sorts of people on the radio, being on the golf course, and watching other people forecast the weather from the comfort of her own couch.
  • Heidi


    Just when I thought life couldn’t get any more full and chaotic, we’re excited to announce a third baby will enter into our home and surely our hearts this summer. The daily grind of cleaning up Cheerios, preschool drop off, and potty training can often seem mundane and insignificant. But I’ve noticed too many parallels with God as our Father to know that simply isn’t true. In my words and stories, I hope to share exactly that—how Jesus is in this motherhood season with me and how His thumbprint makes it’s way into even the ordinary, most surprising of places.
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