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Simmer, Soak and Rise

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Passover and Easter are with us again this week and boy does the world look different to last year. These two biblical accounts are profound markers on our walk as believers and their interwoven presence in the life of Yeshua (the Hebrew name for Jesus) as He lived and walked towards the cross and resurrection.The story of the first Passover can be found in Exodus 12. It speaks of unleavened bread, the tenth and final plague of the death of the first born, and a communal instruction and response in the most difficult and gut wrenching situations. It also speaks of being home with your household and a light being in the midst of that home as you do as the Lord instructs. The story speaks of redemption, salvation and the freedom that comes with the path of God redeeming His people and the ch...
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African Violets

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​The Amen of nature is always a flower. —Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.Well over a year ago, a friend gave me an African Violet. She was going to throw it away because it was getting crowded in the pot it was in, as it had 3 different plants, and it wasn't blooming anymore.I told her I wanted to take it home to see if I could salvage it. I separated the 3 individual stems and repotted them into 3 different pots. I used special African Violet potting soil; I bought a special African violet pot for the biggest of the 3 plants. It's a porous smaller pot that fits into the larger pot that is filled with water, so it continually gets water to its roots. I even bought African violet food to add to the water! I put the pots in a very sunny window. I waited. And waited. And waited. And waited some mor...
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Second-Guessing Myself

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Don't be anxious about anything... —Philippians 4:6I 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.When he wa...
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Stephen: Liquid-Gold Truth

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They were embarrassed. So they looked at each other with an evil glint and a nod of their heads. Their pride had been slashed with a sword. A sword of truth. "None of them could stand against the wisdom and the Spirit with which Stephen spoke." So they went after him. Stephen, this wise truth-teller who was selected to help run the early church because he was "full of faith and the Holy Spirit."Their pride wounded, they persuaded men to lie about Stephen, saying he was speaking against the law of Moses, the Temple "and even God"; the people, including elders and teachers of religious law, became so angry they arrested him. They dragged Stephen before the high council, but all they could do was stare at him "because his face became as bright as an angel's."Fina...
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The 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. LewisInterruptions: 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. Despite...
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David: Fight or Flight

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David means 'Beloved of God' and recently I have gained a deeper appreciation for what this could mean from an essence point of view. Who was this man, who was once a boy? How did it feel to be anointed so young? Did he know how much story he would have to write before he sat on a throne? How many miles did he walk with his men? How many nights did he stay in caves vs canvas? His life plays a melody with romantic ruddiness to show more than a fluffy romantic notion. Maybe he suffered melancholy in moments but so many times we also see him choose gutsy right-action and take another step. His essence as 'Beloved of God' was full of learning and leaning and I want to touch on some of this today.As I sit and write I slow my breathing down, deeply inhale and exhale and bring to my imagination a...
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A New Beginning

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My friend Melody wrote this blog on her new beginning...  The beginning is always today. — Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Thus begins a new column on a new day. I have not written a column on new beginnings before. Maybe because the phrase new beginnings is redundant! Can there be an old beginning?When you encounter a beginning a range of feelings can be felt: openness, excitement, fear, sadness, freedom, happiness…We get to choose what feeling we are going to hold on to. With each column I write I never know what the finished product is going to look like. It is an exciting adventure each time I sit down to write.I have a theme and goals for each column as well as an openness. Then I engage with the ideas and the column has begun. There are twists and turns in the process.Eventuall...
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Count Your Blessings

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Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe. —VoltaireThroughout 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 into my h...
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Lovely Ragtag Church

Lovely Ragtag Church
When strangers walked through my front door along with a diverse mixture of people I knew, I wasn't sure how this would go.My daughter had organized this gathering, feeling strongly that those of us who are Christ-followers and also passionate about digging below the surface of what is really going on in our world, should meet. We gathered our tea and snacks and then I ushered them into a small sitting room with glass doors overlooking the lake.As we talked, the sky turned black as quickly as water going through my Keurig. At one point the man across from me got a funny look on his face as he looked past me. "It can't be that time." His wife's mouth shot open and her eyes became large buttons. I craned my neck around to look at the huge metal wall clock hanging behind me. No way it co...
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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 14:7-9Pine TreesBefore 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 the ...
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New Beginning

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I was asked to write on new beginnings for this weeks blog post and although I had a few ideas of the directions I could go I ended up wrestling with these two simple words. This left me wondering how I might best express these thoughts and a poem emerged. I hope the questions in this short poem and the overall prose will help you see the art of taking time within new beginning seasons, for what goes around comes around and Gods cycle is one of grace.New Beginning I wonder how I will read the past from this moment?Is it place or time or both?Something never lost but never again to be walked.Mine and yours and ours.I only have the past to look back on this day, this moment, new beginning.And now. And now. And now.But I do get to write it anew, from a new beginning point of view.We walked th...
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Voice

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The loud shrill of a toddler makes me scrunch my face as I resist the reflex to shoot my hands up to my ears. While my ears are being pierced, I can't help but smile, my heart melting. This is the sound of a voice being found, practicing and playing with different tones and volumes, and it is a beautiful thing. Language and vocals are one part in developing a voice, but it's not the whole. It is just the beginning. It seems to me that some are born with their voice fully formed and developed, able to express their needs and wants without any problem. While for others that expression is harder and takes much more work and time to develop. I'm among those who have had to work hard to find my voice. Often being a quiet observer rather than a vocal contributor in life. Part of that is the pers...
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The Journey

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I tramp a perpetual journey. Walt WhitmanAs a five-year-old girl, we moved to Minnesota from Pennsylvania. And it was to Pennsylvania we'd travel for summer vacations, and if we were lucky, for Christmas too.We had many relatives in both states and precious friendships as well. There was always excitement in the journey home to PA. It was, after all where my mom, sis and I were born. We married the summer before Rey's senior year of college. As soon as he graduated, we packed up and left for France. A journey nothing like home. So foreign to us. Different language. Different food. Different everything. Yet, somehow it grew to be home to us. The basketball team became like brothers to my hubby, the Bonnet's (the President of the team) became like our parents, and Bonnet's daughter, Maryse, ...
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Goals

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New Years. A time of year we observe that God did indeed make each of us one-of-a kind. One friend says, "I never make resolutions," and laughs carefree. Another will pull out her latest New Year's Resolutions typed in serious Arial or Calibri on 90 lb. bright white paper from her nicely-labeled folder. This year I observed some cementing their 2020 intentions on Facebook. Others reflected on the woes of the past year. Still others looked forward to the new year with the same excitement they did when pumpkin spice lattes came out in the fall.I love this diversity. But some of you may be feeling New Year's stress or ambivalence; I hope some of the following thoughts are helpful.​When is not important. Self-reflection and goal setting are beneficial, but when can be what makes sense for you....
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Burdensome Baggage

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Carrying any baggage with you into the New Year? Oh… I'm not talking about those extra pounds we all put on over the holidays. Or even the balance pending on your credit cards. What I'm talking about is the emotional stuff we lug around with us—old junk that we just can't seem to shake off—excess luggage like old grudges, hurt feelings, discouragement, nagging worries and cares.I sure feel like I am carrying a big old suitcase or two with me this year. The problem with carrying that burdensome stuff around with us is that it doesn't just weigh on your mind, it weighs down your heart and impacts your life. It leaves you wide-eyed at night. It shadows you during the day. You try to release it. You beg God to take it. But somehow it still haunts you. Over the last few weeks I've been reading ...
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Christmas Blessings

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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! 
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A Little Change

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Do you have a container somewhere in your home where you collect all the loose change from your pockets and the bottom of your purses? Somehow over the span of weeks, months and years the change accumulates and you wonder how much might be in the jar. Well, we have had a jar in our kitchen, a jar that is so big that it would take at least 10 years to completely fill, and this past weekend we went to a local store and had it counted and returned to us in dollar bills. The amount was fun and surprising.The jar had not only accumulated US dollars but other currency as well, including Pesos, Canadian dollars, Israeli shekels, Euros and British Pounds. As we filtered our coins through the machine the unrecognizable coins made for a handful of foreign change, and so my winter tale begins.Amidst ...
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Mrs. Made-New

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by Jani Lippert Promnitz Joyous Living FBWhen we feel like we can't hold it all together, we begin to start thinking on the right track. Because we can't and never will. But, we can rest in the promise that he can and always will.I recently had a birthday. Did I hear a happy birthday? Awe, thanks guys! Don't worry if you wondered if I celebrated; believe me, I did and still am. Anyway, my mom wrote me a sweet birthday card as moms do. In the card was a list of all the past year's highlights: coaching volleyball, teaching a year of 5th grade, delivering Joy to the world, resigning from teaching and coaching, becoming a full-time wife and mom, celebrating Jon and my one-year anniversary, and finally moving to a new town, church, and home. These were all good things, but that l...
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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 7:7-8While 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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A Blessed Thanksgiving

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My husband lost his brother on Tuesday. Yet, we have hope that we will see him again, because of the hope of heaven! If you are experiencing rough times, know this... we are never alone! Not only is Jesus near and in us... but we have each other gals!Have a Happy Thanksgiving girls! Emilie, Julie, LuAnn and Sally 
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Across the Pond

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Encourage each other while it is still today. —Hebrews 3:13Have you ever had a pen pal? I was in elementary school when I learned that some of the girls had them. And I was always a bit envious of them. I wanted one too.But as the years slipped by, I never did form a pen pal relationship. Then about six or seven years ago I wrote to several cheese operations in England to inquire for my cheese-making husband if they were interested in his help.Only one of the operations responded. She had noticed the bible verse at the bottom of my email and asked if I was a Christian. From across the pond a new friendship was born. That was the beginning of our pen pal relationship.I had been writing to my precious friend, Maryse, in France for over 38 years. When we had become like sisters while Rey was ...
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Grateful for the Margins

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I'm sure you have had this experience; you open a book that you have bought secondhand, or in "good condition" from a third-party amazon seller, and you open it up and it's full of underlined paragraphs, little notes in the margins (no matter how narrow), stars by key words or N.B at the top of a whole page. Well, this past week I opened a book and there they were, the notes and scribbles of another human. As I started reading this book the strangest feeling started to come over me, like a presence, kind of warm, and I realized that I delighted in the small handwritten note in the margin of the first few pages. The funny thing is that the handwriting wasn't that legible, but the scribble was delightfully endearing and it captured my imagination. It had me gazing off beyond the pa...
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Faithful Friend

Faithful Friend
I want to be a fall girl. Like my friends. I really do.They wrap fall around themselves as beautifully as the burnt-orange and brown-colored scarves they pull out of their closets and drape loosely around their necks."Isn't flannel shirt season the very best?" They ask me in delight."No. It isn't." I shake my head emphatically to punctuate my dissent. They sip on their pumpkin- and maple-spiced lattes in frothy bliss. (In their flannels of course.) This only deepens my consternation.My daughter and her friend have their Christmas music blaring. "Are you kidding me?!" I exclaim. "On the second day of November?" "Well, I feel it's technically acceptable once we have our first snowfall, and we have already had that," my daughter explains.This reminder that this did indeed take place—and ...
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Apple Harvest Season

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 "Those who trust in the Lord will be blessed... They will be strong like trees planted near a stream that send out roots to the water. They have nothing to fear when the days get hot. Their leaves are always green. They never worry, even in a year that has no rain. They always produce fruit."Jeremiah 17:7-8Here in my neck of the woods, it is apple harvest season. The local apple orchards are buzzing with business, packed with folks whose mouths have been watering to sink their teeth into one of those fresh-picked beauties. I know...because my hubby and I were one of the hundreds who milled through the orchard, waited for hayrides, got lost in the corn maze, or stood in line for warm apple donuts this weekend!! Yum!!!As we meandered our way through the orchards, there were several tim...
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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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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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