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Gratitude

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Before you get started, find a comfortable spot where you can sit quietly with your Savior. Spend a few minutes in silence. Ask God to meet you there in the quietness of this moment and to speak His heart to you as you sit with Him.Have a journal and pen/pencil ready to jot down any thoughts that come to you during this experience.Take a moment now to read through the following Scripture passage slowly. You may want to read it out loud. As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border of Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" He looked at them and said, "Go show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were healed of their leprosy. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, ...

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John

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 "I talk to God but the sky is empty." Sylvia Plath Sometimes life just doesn't make sense. Like when you finally reach a stage in life when you and your spouse can fly the coop and enjoy time just the two of you...then divorce papers are filed, or an illness strikes or you are left alone at a graveside without a chance to say goodbye. Or when the child you have loved and nurtured turns against you, or turns to alcohol or drugs, or disappears without a trace. Recently I've been talking to God about my second-born son. He has been struggling, too, but, not with anger or alcohol issues. He is my high achiever. He graduated from his college and master's degree programs with a 4.0. He is incredibly diligent, meticulous, and detail-oriented, and if given a chance, would make a phenomenal e...

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Flirting with Temptation

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Before you make a decision, ask yourself this question: will you regret the results or rejoice in them? Rob Liano If only I would! If only I would stop and give thought to my decisions. Not all decisions, mind you. In many decisions I am quite strategic. But, when it comes to the little decisions, you know, the spontaneous ones like "I'm hungry, and that ooey gooey brownie would help tide me over till supper" decision or "That shirt is as cute as a button, and if I don't get it now, it may not be here the next time I come" decision? Those are the types of decisions that trip me up time-and-again. When I'm hungry or flirting with temptation in my favorite clothing shop, I fare rather poorly. brother, Jacob… 29-30 One day Jacob was cooking a stew. Esau came in from the field, starved. Esau s...

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A Sacred Romance

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Mary's heart began to thump and her hands to shake a little in her delight and excitement. What was this under her hands which was square and made of iron and which her finger found a hole in? It was the lock of the door which had been closed ten years and she put her hand in her pocket, drew out the key and found it fitted the keyhole. She put the key in and turned it. It took two hands to do it, but it did turn. And then she took a long breath and looked behind her up the long walk to see if anyone was coming. No one was. No one ever did come, it seemed, and she took another long breath, because she could not help it, and she held back the swinging curtain of ivy and pushed back the door which opened slowly — slowly. Then she slipped through it, and shut it behind her, and stood with her...

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Wave Battered and Faith-Filled Naomi

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Death, like ocean waves, surrounded me, and I was almost swallowed by its flooding waters. 2nd Samuel 22:6 I have heard it said that trouble comes in threes. I know it's just an old wife's tale, but oddly enough it happens from time-to-time. It's happened to me. How about you? The first time it happened I was a freshman in college. The troubles started when my parents divorced and sold our home. A couple months later I was involved in a rollover car accident that completely totaled my car. Then three months later, after a constant struggle with neurological issues, I discovered that I had broken my neck in the accident. Surgery, a month-long hospital stay and six months in a metal body/neck brace followed. Fragile and unable to care for myself, I was released into the care of my precious G...

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Sarai with an H

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 Sarah said, "God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me." —Genesis 21:6 Meet Sarai. She is ninety years of age. Abram was nearly 100. Well past childbirth. But God had a special surprise up his sleeve, and Sarah would bear a son in one year. I forgot the story… "No longer will be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father to many nations of you, kings will come from you. As for Sarai you wife; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will give you a son. Abraham fell facedown; and laughed and said to himself, will be a son be born to man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a son at the age of ninety." —Genesis 17:15-17 The Hebrew letter "h" is the letter symbolizes breath. The Hebrew people felt that writing or sp...

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In the Garden

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"Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song." —Pope John Paul II In the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden containing a new tomb in which nobody had yet been laid. Because it was the preparation day and because the garden tomb was conveniently near, they laid Jesus in this tomb. On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene arrived at the tomb, very early in the morning, while it was still dark, and noticed that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus' body had been lain. They said to her, "Woman, why are you crying?" "Because they have t...

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Second-Guessing Myself

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 Don't be anxious about anything... —Philippians 4:6 I don't know if you've ever experienced this or not, but I have found that sometimes after I have said yes to serving the Lord in one capacity or another, I begin to second-guess myself. I think of all the other qualified folks out there who could do a much better job than me, and I grow a little weak in the knees. But then, just about the time I have convinced myself that I really ought to bow out of my obligation, God encourages my quivering heart by reminding me of the type of people He used in the past. Take Amos, for instance. When God needed a preacher to talk some sense into His people Israel, He didn't go to the nearest synagogue or seminary to find His candidate; he chose an ordinary man who tended fig trees for a living. W...

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He leads me beside quiet waters

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He leads me beside quiet waters… he restores my soul. —Psalm 23:2 I am sitting by still waters today, but there is a party on the lake. People having fun; diving in and dive-bombing into the water. Someone is tubing on the lake as well, and jets skis too. It is not exactly quiet, but it does restore my soul. Just when I was going to write that it is calmed down now, there is another whoop from the party boat. It is so peaceful here by the water, despite the party. I took my shoes off and dangled my feet in the lake. I love the sound of water lapping up on the shore. It is so soothing. It reminds me of the Allegheny river when I was young. My Grandpa Simey would take us out on the rowboat. We would pack a lunch and I remember the waves lapping on the shore of the river as we parked our boat...

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My sister Sherri

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My Sister Sherri. She was tomboy. I was a girlie girl. We about as opposite as good be. I had romantic heart. I love with my strength. I reached out to her while she was pregnant. She didn't understand my nurturing love her. She saw Josh and Amy have family. Tina got married and settle Edinburgh, UK. Gabi Boysen get married and have a family. Sal' settled Utah. She was Independent. Her love of God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit guided her life. She is walking whole with Jesus. She's chatting with Grandma and Grandpa Simey. She's chatting with Grandma and Grandpa O. Joking around with Mark Johnson. Set your heart things, where is Christ is seated at the right of God. Set you minds, on above not earthly things. For your hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears then you will...

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A Bright Fields

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 Our besetting sin is to hurry, and the remedy is to turn aside: I have seen the sun break through to illuminate a small fieldfor a while, and gone my wayand forgotten it. But that was the pearlof great price, the one field that hadthe treasure in it. I realize nowthat I must give all that I haveto possess it. Life is not hurrying on to a receding future, nor hankering afteran imagined past. It is the turningaside like Moses to the miracleof the lit bush, to a brightnessthat seemed as transitory as your youthonce, but is the eternity that awaits you. R. S. Thomas (1913–2000) was an Anglo-Welsh poet and Anglican priest who lived in Wales and served in small rural parishes with his wife, the artist Mildred "Elsi" Eldridge. Yet Thomas insists that life is found when we, like Moses, turn ...

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Happy Valentine's Day!!!

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Have a Blessed Valentine's Day! LuAnn, Julie and Sally

Longing for Heavenly One

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They were longing for a better country… a heavenly one. —Hebrews 11:16 Think for a moment about the word paradise, what comes to your mind? Do thoughts of a tropical retreat with white sandy beaches and swaying palm trees hit the mark? Or does a cabin up in snow-capped mountains with stunning views better fit your notion of the word? My idea of paradise would be a cottage with flower-filled gardens set in the Lake District of England. The mere thought of getting away to places such as these stirs our hearts with longing. There is something almost magical in the plotting and planning of a trip, whether it is to Boston or Barbados, Portland or Paris. Once we've settled on where we are going, the anticipation begins to build as the longed-for day of departure approaches, which to me is half t...

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A Sanctuary

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I love old churches and cathedrals. It started years back when we lived in France. The churches there are so ancient and so beautiful. I found it difficult to pass through a town or village without stopping to take a peek around and sit for a spell inside, if time allowed. The hallowed silence within their walls breathed such peace to my soul. Being a foreigner in a new land, it felt the nearest thing to home. Since then, I have made it a habit of visiting old churches wherever I go. We've been to old churches in the French Alps when we visited, and when we were in Scotland and the UK, we visited beautiful cathedrals, even ruins of old churches and abbeys in Robin Hood's Bay. There seems to be a reverence about them. A hallowedness. As much as I love the church in Big Sky with its beautifu...

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Count Your Blessings

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Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light. - Helen Keller Throughout the years, it has been my habit to keep a Faith Journal. I call it a Faith Journal because what I have written on those pages... when my faith is firm and the eyes my heart are open to see the various blessings that God has touched my life with, have been the greatest source of encouragement to me when my faith is especially thin, and my eyes so clouded with tears that I have a hard time seeing God's presence anywhere. As I flip through that journal, I am reminded that yes! God has walked with me through every twist and turn along life's way. He has whispered my name on the wind and touched my innermost being with beauty. He has embraced me through the hugs of friends and spoken deep int...

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Christmas Blessings Everyone

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 Wishing you and yours a precious holiday season filled with love, joy and gift of the Savior's presence into the New Year! Love you, Sally, LuAnn and Julie

Star of Wonder

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Ask and it will be given to you; Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8 While the rest of the world took little or no notice of the bright star that had suddenly appeared in the night sky, it did catch the eye of a few foreign fellows living in a country east of Jerusalem. Observing the spectacular stars return night-after-night sparked earnest curiosity in them.They gathered together in serious study; excitedly probing, researching, and investigating anything they could get their hands on concerning the meaning behind its arrival. When they discovered that it signaled the birth of Israel's king, they packed up gifts to present him and set off in high...

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Be a Pine Tree

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 At least there is hope for a tree…if it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail. Its root may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant. —Job 14:7-9 Pine Trees Before straight-line winds tore through our neighborhood one summer, we used to have stately pine trees gracing the fence line of our backyard. Despite the trees determined effort to withstand the storm's fury that fateful day, several of them, looking more like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, had to be cut down. Three rather defiant pine trees managed to remain rooted in place, although they were snapped in two in the process. After all the debris was cleared away, those three broken pines stood as the only evidence of t...

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Have Blessed Thanksgiving Everyone

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We love our readers! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! LuAnn, Julie and Sally 

Thankful for Dementia

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May God the Father and the Lord Jesus the annointed surround you with grace and peace. Ephesians 1:2 I am grateful for dementia. I can't find the words. So, I remain quiet.  The holy resilient don't just  endure, they become more: more compassionate, deeper, simpler in their desires and more focused in how they use their time. It's not about adjusting but transformation. It's about becoming a NEW person.  They let go of long-cherished dreams, set aside life patterns that are harmful, jettison practices that once worked well, but no longer do so. They take hold...of any fresh graces they see growing within them. They seek new glimmerings of God's love. The rhythm of the holy resilient, is Jesus is sacred, life-giving.  The take-up questions repeated in order to...

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Interruptions of Jesus

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 The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's 'own,' or 'real' life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one's real life — the life God is sending day by day.—C.S. Lewis Interruptions: to be stopped or hindered by others with remarks or questions. From the start of his ministry to his death, Jesus couldn't finish a sentence, attend a dinner, a Wedding or even find time away without being interrupted. When Jesus was teaching in a house, four friends couldn't get their paralyzed friend in, so they climbed up on the roof with him in tow. They decided to let him down from the roof. So, they tore a patch big enough to lift him down and because of their precious faith, Jesus healed him. Desp...

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Gratitude

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 Gratitude Before you get started, find a comfortable spot where you can sit quietly with your Savior. Spend a few minutes in silence. Ask God to meet you there in the quietness of this moment and to speak His heart to you as you sit with Him. Have a journal and pen/pencil ready to jot down any thoughts that come to you during this experience. Take a moment now to read through the following Scripture passage slowly. You may want to read it out loud. As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border of Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" He looked at them and said, "Go show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were healed of their leprosy. One of them, when he saw th...

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Walking With God

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My dog Tasha loved to go for walks. Well, we had to call them "W's." If the word WALK got mentioned prematurely, she would start yelping and spinning in circles. But the truth is, I loved going for walks just as much as she did. A walk around the neighborhood was a wonderful opportunity to breathe in the fresh air and scope out the various flower gardens along the way. But, sometimes when Tasha and I would saunter along, I would get so preoccupied looking around me that I'd forget to keep my eyes on the path. As you well know, every now and again you will come upon a spot in a sidewalk that has either sunken down a bit or has risen up slightly. If I wasn't paying attention, I could find myself tripping, twisting an ankle, or worse yet, sprawled out in an embarrassing heap. Someti...

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Our Best-Laid Plans

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Some of you say, "Today or tomorrow we will go… we will stay… we will do…"But you do not know what will happen tomorrow! Your life is like a mist.You can see it for a short time, but then it goes away. So instead you should say, "If the Lord wants, we will live and do this or that." James 4:13-17 [New Century Version] Most folks in the 21st century live by their daily, monthly, and yearly planners. I admit that even before my new calendar goes up on the wall each January, I have already penciled in plans as far out as October! We funny little humans seem to schedule ourselves into oblivion, running from one thing to the next. Yet, we rarely stop to think about the fact that all of our best-laid plans could come screeching to a halt in a blink of an eye. Sadly, when those roadblocks eventua...

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Never Forget 9/11 2001

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 We cannot forget the terrorist attacks on 9/11! On the Pentagon and Shanksville!.  LuAnn, Julie and Sally

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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.

The Heart Matters Gals

  • Julie

    Julie

    I’m turning 62 this year. 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

    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!
  • Emilie

    Emilie

    I am currently finishing my degree in relational communications and plan to graduate in the spring of 2020!! I am thankful I have had time to grow, heal, appreciate a slower pace of living, and to invest more time into relationships with family, friends, and God. Through this process I am learning what I want to prioritize in my life and figuring out ways to make that happen. Most of all, I am figuring out that life is all about process, taking steps closer to where I want to be and celebrating the little victories but also accepting that there will be setbacks and disappointments along the way.
  • Sally

    Sally

    Sally Cranham is a singer and writer from the UK. She uses biblical narrative and her own experience to write deeply into the heart of the human condition. She currently works as a volunteer for SourceMN as their Arts Outreach Coordinator and has lived as a Residential Volunteer at Source’s anti-trafficking transitional annex alongside women who have come out of the life of prostitution.
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