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Flux

Laughter: Good Medicine for the Soul

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Sometimes the weight of the world feels as if it rests directly on my shoulders. I'm a burden-bearer by nature, so it only stands to reason that whatever happens to ail this poor, old world of ours, ails me, too.

I anguish in prayer over Ukraine, I pray for a change of heart for Putin, I grieve deeply over the young girls stolen from their family's and forced to relinquish their faith in Nigeria. My heart breaks for the tens of thousands of folks flooded out of their homes in Serbia.

I am awakened at night over the state of affairs in our country. All the violence. The perversion. And the impact our adult decisions are having on our children.

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Barbara
This is a good word, Julie. You linked up ahead of me at A Holy Experience, I think, this week. (I closed the linky lists yesterda... Read More
Friday, 23 May 2014 17:08
  1 Comment

A Journey Through Grief

julia

My guest writer is Christine Shipman, my cousin's daughter...five months after the loss of her beloved Julia 

 Mother's Day 

The love left behind is worth all else. What a gift to love and not be afraid of the consequences.

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Instant Results

forsythia

Instant breakfast. Instant life.

Anything easy cuz that's what we like.

Fast food places and banks with no lines.

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Barbara
Your Forsythia is a perfect "object lesson" for patience. Thanks for this sweet post!
Monday, 12 May 2014 22:44
  1 Comment

Dealing with Disappointment

Dealing with Disappointment

Experiences in life...may turn out to be a great disappointment or perhaps they may be full of enchanting surprises.

Mary Wesley 

As my hubby sat making hotel reservations one evening for an upcoming conference in Milwaukee, he asked if I wanted to tag along. Pictures of quiet strolls on the River-walk and a little shopping trip in the up-and-coming Historic Third Ward soon filled my head. So, of course I said, “Yes!”

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Recent Comments
Barbara
As Ann said we sometimes have to be a pessimist before we can see the positive. Thanks for your perspective and I'm glad you went... Read More
Tuesday, 06 May 2014 12:41
Julie Miller
Life throws us curveballs now again, both large and seemingly insignificant...like my room with no view. Thankfully, our precious ... Read More
Tuesday, 06 May 2014 16:17
  2 Comments

Hints of Heaven

buttercups

Today you will be with me in paradise.

Luke 23:42

Paradise: A place of extreme beauty, supreme felicity and delight / a country or region of wonders and marvels / a place where one experiences perfect happiness, joy and bliss...heaven

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Barbara
That was beautiful Julie. Thanks for sharing.
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 11:32
Julie Miller
Jeannie, It's the hope we hang on to this side of heaven! Love you friend!
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 13:04
  2 Comments

Leadership Lessons

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Follow my example, just as I follow Christ’s.

1st Corinthians 11:1 

My Grandpa Simey was a gentle man of few words. In today's dog-eat-dog world his quiet leadership would probably be overlooked. But, a child's heart is drawn to quiet leadership like a moth to flame. At least that was the case for me. And judging by all of our old black and white photos - it was the case for my unc' as well. It didn't matter where Gramps was or what he was doing, we wanted to be there in his shadow.

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Judith C Evans
What a sweet story and beautiful tribute to your Grandpa. Have a blessed week!
Monday, 07 April 2014 21:06
Barbara
Thank you Julie...
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 19:44
Barbara
Julie, I'm, hopping belatedly over from Ann's link up, and was instantly caught up in your story, since I was close to my grandp... Read More
Friday, 11 April 2014 21:15
  3 Comments

The Gift of Friendship

best-friends

A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out. 

Walter Winchell

I can’t imagine what life would be like without friends. My life has been so incredibly enriched by the vast variety of friends God has blessed my life with over the years. And it’s precisely that variety that I love most about friendship. Each one is a marvel and a gift...uniquely and divinely God-designed. Just like snowflakes, no two friends or friendships are the same.

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Barbara
Julie, Nice to meet you. I'm hopping over from Ann's link up to count gifts with you, but was amazed to see that we share MN and... Read More
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 15:08
  1 Comment

A Trudge through the Snow

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Winter is on my head...and down my boots...but eternal spring is in my heart. (my paraphrase)

Victor Hugo 

Winter blew in another foot of snow onto our already knee-deep supply. I'm beginning to think spring will never come. In fact, I can't help but wonder, after two miserable winters in a row, if we might not be entering a new Ice Age!!

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Love Spurned

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We have become accustomed to traveling through life at lightning speed. The alarm clock rings and we hit the floor running. We fill every waking moment scurrying in three different directions. And we’re intentional about everything…we take business lunches so we can kill two birds with one stone. Even taking walks these days has morphed into exercise…no more leisurely strolls for us…we speed walk! For all of the time we spend penciling in our calendars and uploading our iPads and smartphones, somehow we still seem to be forever running late. And if you have kiddos, add in their piano lessons, play practice, ball practice and homework to squeeze in there somewhere. If we can find time to sit down together as a family for supper, we end up rehashing all the details of our chaotic lives, as we shovel our meal in as fast as we can, so we can all get to wherever it is that we are going to next. 

In his book, Time Wars, Jeremy Rifkin states, "We are a nation in love with speed. We drive fast, eat fast...we’re obsessed with breaking records. We digest our life, condense our experiences and compress our thoughts. While other cultures might believe haste makes waste, we are convinced that speed reflects alertness, power and success. Americans are always in a hurry."  

But, according to James Bryan Smith, the author of the book, The Good and Beautiful God, hurry is not a part of a well-lived life. He says that the #1 spiritual sickness in our day is hurry sickness. 

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Recent Comments
Barbara
Beautiful! I have not heard of our hurry up world described as the hurry sickness but it is so true. In our busyness and our sched... Read More
Monday, 10 March 2014 16:45
Julie Miller
It's not easy to do, is it Mary? But, think of all the precious conversations we miss with God when we don't still ourselves long ... Read More
Friday, 14 March 2014 12:39
  2 Comments

Gray Days

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God spreads snow like wool...who can endure the freezing cold? Then God gives the command and it begins to melt. He breathes on winter - suddenly it is spring

Psalm 147:16, 18

Gray days. Subzero temperatures. Wind-chills. Snowstorms. And polar vortex’s. I think even the heartiest of winter enthusiasts are beginning to pine for brighter days when temperatures climb back up above zero for good.

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Monitoring Your Spiritual Health

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January is the perfect month to take a pulse on your spiritual well-being. Here are a few things that I ask myself periodically. I pray that they will prove 

      What are you feeding your soul with these days? Are you subsisting on empty calories of excessive TV and movie watching, the Internet, Facebook, talk or sports radio, romance novels, etc.?

*Jesus tells us in Matthew 12:33-34 that if we fill our hearts with unhealthy things, it will inevitably be exposed by our attitudes and speech. What comes out of our mouths reflects what we’ve taken into our hearts.

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The Art Class

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I’ve been journaling my way through the book of Jeremiah lately. As I sat soaking in chapter 18, the following story-form devotional took shape in my mind. If you should decide to spend some time with it, know that it will require imagination and creativity on your part. Don’t let the details trip you up; simply move through the story seeing yourself as the main character. 

Before you get started, take a minute or two to sit quietly at Jesus’ feet. Be sure to have a journal and pencil to jot down anything that the Holy Spirit may stir in you throughout this meditation. Ask Him to whisper His heart and His desires for you as you journey together to...the Art Class.   

In a wealthy home some vessels are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive vessels are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a vessel for honorable use...ready for the Master to use for every good work.

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Recent Comments
Guest — bonnie
Julie, so nice to see these words. I saw your name in the Berhel mag and checked out your website. I am facing a crossroads in my ... Read More
Sunday, 04 December 2016 17:15
Guest — Julie Miller
Bonnie, So blessed that God spoke sweetly to your heart through this interactive devotional! May God continue to use you and show ... Read More
Monday, 05 December 2016 14:33
  2 Comments

Losing Daylight

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You made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun always knows when to set.

Psalm 104:19 

It's happening again. Just as it happens every autumn here in the Upper Midwest. We're losing daylight. Shadows are lengthening. The sun struggles to brighten the morning sky. And, before we've had much chance to relish it, it quickly slips away again into the evening.

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Recent Comments
lynn otto
Fall and cold is put into perspective... and you have made it clear how wonderful slowing down and enjoying relationships can be!... Read More
Thursday, 31 October 2013 18:24
Barbara
I am a summer person. My husband always teases me that I really should live in Florida. And I agree. (And he would prefer Alaska, ... Read More
Friday, 01 November 2013 13:57
Barbara
Absolutely...I am excited for daylight savings time to end! Think positive at the coziness of indoors! Thank you Julie! Love you b... Read More
Friday, 01 November 2013 16:45
  3 Comments

Along a Gravel Road

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This little quiet time experience came to me while I was up at the Prayer Cabin one hot summer weekend. I pray that it will refresh you when you are weary...

Before you get started, take a moment or two to quiet your spirit before the Lord. Ask the Holy Spirit to breathe creativity into you that He may speak deep into your heart. 

Now, read each of the following lines carefully; picture yourself in the scene. 

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Philippians

This is a 5-day Bible Study Journey through the Book of Philippians. May your life be enriched as you "walk" with the Apostle Paul.

 

Philippians.pdf

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Ephesians

This is a 5-day Bible Study Journey through the Book of Ephesians. May your life be enriched as you "walk" with the Apostle Paul!

 

Ephesians.pdf

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Galatians

This is a 5-day Bible Study Journey through the Book of Galatians. May your life be enriched as you "walk" with the Apostle Paul. 

 

Galatians.pdf

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Gardening 101

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Living in the Upper Midwest, we know that winters can be long and harsh, but as tough as winters are on our gardens, summers can be equally harsh, if not more so.Under a blazing sun day after day with limited rainfall, our plants can quickly shrivel and die. That is why it is important to take this wonderful opportunity spring time gives us to equip ourselves to be garden-ready.

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Barbara
I love the comparison between our gardens, with all the pesky problems & our hearts, with all the trauma's. Seems life is full of ... Read More
Tuesday, 30 April 2013 18:19
  1 Comment

2nd Thessalonians

This is a 5-day Bible Study Journey through the Book of 2nd Thessalonians. May your life be enriched as you "walk" with the Apostle Paul.

 

2ndThess.pdf

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1st Thessalonians

This is a 5-day Bible Study Journey through the book of 1st Thessalonians. May your life be enriched as you "walk" with the Apostle Paul.

 

 1stThess.pdf

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The Lenten Season

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In the dormancy of Lent

we can take our cue

from fallow fields,

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Quotes...

Quotes on Soul Friendship with God

 

Incredible as it may seem, God wants our companionship.He wants to have us close to Him.

Billy Graham

 

We live in a noisy, crowded, busy world. In the realm of man's spirit the devastation wrought by our much vaunted modern way of life is beyond measure. People are so driven. A thousand false voices call to them to find fulfillment in the transient, tempting pursuits of time.

 

But, man was made for a greater good than all of these.He was made for God. And he will never find rest of soul, serenity of spirit, until he finds that repose in stillness and quietness in company with Christ.

Phillip Keller

 

We cannot give ourselves to spiritual things and deepen our relationship with God if we are obsessed with a multitude of things to do and always on the go. Love for God is a tender plant that can mature only when it has time to grow. God cannot be loved on the run!

David Roper

 

God will never adjust His agenda to fit ours.He will not speed His pace to catch up with ours; we need to slow our pace in order to recover our walk with Him.God will not scream and shout over the noisy clamor; He expects us to seek quietness, where His still, small voice can be heard.

Charles Swindoll

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What to look for in a Soul Friend

What to Look for in a Soul Friend

  • Someone who walks with God in humility of heart.Someone who recognizes their weaknesses, learns from their mistakes and apologizes when their sin hurts others.They are someone who looks to God’s Word for guidance, encouragement and challenge.And they, too, have Soul Friendships that love, nurture and prod them to further maturity in their own lives.
  • Someone who is a good listener!And what I mean by a good listener is...

*Someone who truly hears what you are saying because they are not busy formulating a response or interrupting you constantly to share what they think or change the subject to themselves or their experiences.A good listener is a patient listener.

 

   *A good listener also listens for what isn’t being said.They are listening and watching for what lies deeper, depending on the Holy Spirit’s nudging’s to guide them.In other words, a good listener is prayerful listener.

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How to find a Soul Friend

How to find a Soul Friend

 

  • The most important first step is prayer. Ask God to guide you.

 

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Two Turtle Doves

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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

    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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