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Journey along with the Heart Matters Gals

He Leads Me Beside Wheat Fields

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Carrying on after Julie's rested words and response to presence last week, I too was deeply moved by an experience I had last weekend. Aren't there so many spiritual truths availableto us in our everyday lives that have the potential to nourish our souls? It seems to me that in simply observing our lives we are met with so much wisdom and learning. My prayer, even as Iwrite this blog, is that you might draw on your life and listen to the still small voice in the midst of creation and your experiences. That you might know another facet to God's heartbeat and how His presence is constant.So, back to my experience last weekend. I visited some friends for a quick one-night camping trip, and they were pitched right beside a vast wheat field. I had been hoping to capture a wh...

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He leads beside still 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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Summertime Fun

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We Heart Matters gals are taking the month of July off as a writing hiatus. We'll be back in August!!! Emilie, LuAnn, Julie and Sally

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Flowing Grace of Now

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Consider how parched wasteland can become a blossoming meadow after a good rain. The challenge, of course, is to live mindfully so that we do not miss the lessons hidden in the seasons. Hold each season up against your life. Consider the little flowers growing up through the deadwood. The deadwood is a source of life for them. It is their mulch. What can this teach you about the apparent deadwood in your own life? What is your mulch? What helps you grow? What can the seasons teach you? —Marcrina Wiederkehr I have been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia. It effects my speech. I want to LEARN from my struggles, my questions, and my unrest. The first thing that the seasons teach me is that it is always changing. Spring blossoms in crocus, daffodils, and tulips. Late spring produces the lo...

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Heavenly Children

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"You are supposed to destroy the works of the devil and stomp on hell for a living. The cross is the revealing of your value. If you get who you are because of what he did, it doesn't matter what people have done to you." Todd White Our world is in chaos. And many of us feel defenseless. So many voices are shouting to be heard. Often their messages are different, outright contradictory, depending on their experiences. How do I respond as a believer? I honestly don't have all the answers. There are a few words that keep landing in my brain though, like the cotton from the trees that keep landing on my porch, clinging: listen, pray, serve. Fight for righteousness and the innocent. In other words, be more like Christ. As these thoughts were circling in my head, I ran into a friend as I was dr...

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Injustice

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I won't stand by watching a sister fight against a brother, a friend hurl insults against another friend, a Christian slander another child of God + let Satan kick back laughing in TOTAL GLEE. Smiling from ear to ear. So happy we played right into his hand.Don't be mistaken—whatever you see with your own 2 eyes? Not it. Our struggle is NOT against flesh and blood. So all the hate, injustice + division?We know the truth. Paul makes it very clear: We're fighting against the evil rulers, authorities + mighty powers of this dark world + against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Eph. 6:12)So rise up, friends. There's a war going on + it didn't just start last week. Don't let yourself be deceived, don't turn on each other like Satan hopes + remember from where you fight: God for ...

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In Honor of George Floyd

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"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. " Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  We are lamenting with our brown and black brothers and sisters.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Look! God's dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 'He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21: 2-4

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Who Is Our Neighbor?

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 Love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. —Mark 6:30-31 Who is your neighbor? Is it the people living next to you? Is it your fellow man? Or is it the strangers you might never meet? Rey and I recently served at Second Harvest Heartland. We were at the tail end of the boxes. Rey put in Instant Potatoes and Dried Milk Powder in each package. I put a flyer in, date-stamped it and then sent it through the taper. The guy on the end loaded it onto a pallet. A week's worth of food goes into each box. Feeding the most vulnerable around us. It was such a gift to us to be able to serve. We were so blessed by the experience that we'll be back serving the first week of June. All of us, at some time ...

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A Blessed Memorial Day to you...

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We remember all those who served our country... and those who still serve. THANK YOU!  

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Healing Father

A grenade exploded. COVID-19. And through the embers and debris, our world became almost unrecognizable. Like I had entered an episode of The Twilight Zone. In this new world, people's stories swirl in my brain in a never-ending cycle. A friend whose pain is growing almost intolerable because she no longer has access to her physical therapy. A young farmer dressed in a soft blue flannel and cowboy hat in tears as he loses the farm that has been in his family for generations. Nurses and doctors in New York in their scrubs, exhausted and overwhelmed. Just when they think they have the treatment for this new virus figured out, another precious life slips away. A dad sits outside crying, pain in his eyes, as he shares with the world how his son just took his life from the isolation and despair...

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Singing in The Street and Whispers of Hope

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With an international phenomenon of social distancing in pandemic proportions taking over our daily lives, I am amazed at the human spirit and creativity that has the potential to ooze out of us all. It seems that in tough times our power to choose the good is highlighted as our only road map to hope. That God tenderly whispers ideas to us, to encourage our neighbors and maybe even love them a little better than we were before and to me this is very humbling and full of life. In my little corner of the world, the UK, it all started with my dad asking me whether I wanted to sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow out on the street a couple of weeks into lockdown. I said I would be happy to and since then we have been out on the street every week. The idea emerged as the nation announced a weekly mo...

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A Poem on Spring

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I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils; Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. The waves beside them danced; but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not but be gay, In such a jocund company: I gazed- and gazed- but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought: For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the...

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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 c...

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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." Fi...

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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 ...

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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.Eventual...

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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 ...

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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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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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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. Amids...

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Mrs. Made-New

by Jani Lippert Promnitz Joyous Living FB When 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...

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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 3:13 Have 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 ...

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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 p...

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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...

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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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