Heart Choices: 2010-08-15

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TSMSS ~ Fallen Chains




It's Then Sings My Soul Saturday.  I'm linking up with Amy of Signs, Miracles and Wonders.

The song I chose to post today is written and performed by 16 year old Lexi.  She is so talented.  And by the way, she's the daughter of my blogging friend Jill of Forever N Ever N Always.

I know you will enjoy this!



Happy Saturday!

Blessings and love,

QuickEdit

Exercise and Energy


Exercise and energy.  How many times have you found yourself saying that you're ...too tired to exercise?

I would never have said that in the past because I've been a consistent exerciser for most of my life.  It's only been in the last six months that I've found myself overstressed, overeating and ...not exercising. 

One of the problems has been that I sold my treadmill and exercise equipment when we moved.  I hadn't realized how vital they were to my daily routine.

I'm attending my niece's wedding over Labor Day weekend.  I have lots of dresses from which to choose but none of them fit me anymore. 

I couldn't believe it!  I've gained 20 pounds and my clothes are way too tight. 

So I joined a gym.  The Rio Vista Recreational Center is close by and it's a great facility.

I've been exercising every day this week.  I love to get on the treadmill.  I forgot how much I actually enjoy this time.




It's a great facility and best of all, it's close by.  I actually look forward to this daily workout again.  I'm drinking more water too.

But one of the greatest benefits of daily exercising is that I'm starting to have ...more energy.

Yes, it's really true. 

How about you?
  • Do you use the excuse that you're too tired to exercise?
  • Could you carve out 45 minutes each day to take care of your body?
  • What motivates you to get moving and lose that extra weight?
Hang in there as it takes time and effort.  But exercise is a great habit to develop.  And it's a good ...heart choice.

Blessings and love,

Stop by and visit Sandy on her new fitness blog.
QuickEdit

Childlike Delight


Childlike delight ...do you remember what that felt like?

While I was in the mountains alone last week, the Lord gave me another insight. 

If I truly trust Him and know that He is in control, I can enjoy my life more. 

 Instead of always feeling anxious, is it possible to walk through each day with a childlike delight?

 

The unhindered smile of a baby is so contagious. 

Why do so many Christians walk around with sour faces?  Don't they realize how fortunate and loved they really are?  The One True Living God has chosen us to belong to His family. It doesn't get much better than that. 

So smile!

This is a portion of what I read from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young while away in the mountains.


"When My people wear sour faces and walk through their lives with resigned rigidity, I am displeased.  When you walk through a day with childlike delight, savoring every blessing, you proclaim your trust in Me, your ever-present Shepherd."


This really touched my heart.  I tried to remember a time in the past when I felt a childlike delight

The memory that came to my mind was when I was two or three years old.  For some reason, I vividly remembered doing something to make my family laugh.  I bent my head down between my legs and walked backwards into the kitchen. My mom and dad started laughing at the sight of their little Debbie. 

 And I thought I was so funny ...childlike delight!

Now I'm not suggesting that we walk in a position like that.  I doubt I could even get in a position like that.  :)



But sometimes I can be so serious that I miss laughing and enjoying the moments.  If I'm always thinking of tomorrow or worrying about something that may or may not ever happen ...I lose the joy of today.


As this is also Thankful Thursday, I'd like to challenge each one of you to have some childlike delight today.  It may start out with a moment or two but if you find yourself smiling ...don't stop.

God delights in our childlike delight as we learn to trust Him and to lean on Him.  I'm so thankful for that gift and His never ending love. 

How about you?  Can you think of something to smile about?  How about taking a moment to find something to delight in? 

Smile! 

Today is Thankful Thursday. 


If you'd like to visit other thankful blogs or participate, you can visit Laurie of Women Taking A Stand.

Blessings and love,
All photos are my friend Jamie's children. Thanks Jamie!
QuickEdit

Busyness and Avoidance


Have you ever considered that your busyness could be an avoidance tactic? 

Now I'm not suggesting that you stop taking care of your home and your children.  But the never ending to-do lists can be a drain on your energy.  And you may find that life is passing you by and you seem to get nothing of significance done.
(Photo Credit: Google images)

Remember the story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10:38-42?  Jesus was in their home and Martha was doing what a normal host would do, right?  She was preparing the food to serve and all the other preparations.  And frankly, she was a bit frustrated with her sister Mary who was sitting at Jesus' feet, listening to what He said.  I can understand Martha's frustration as she told Jesus to tell Mary to help her.  But what did Jesus say in verses 41-42?


"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

When I spent time alone in the mountains last week, there was one evening when I was so tempted to leave the quiet and return home.  I missed my husband and I became lonely.

I've become so used to being active and productive.  I may spend long hours working online but I feel like I'm helping out and being very useful.  Being alone in the mountains almost seemed like ...running away from responsibility. 

But by the next morning, that temptation left me.  I knew I needed to be right there alone with the Lord.  And I also realized that during this time, He was peeling a layer off my heart.  I was getting a bit scared by that and wanted to avoid it.  It wasn't something conscious at first but I realized that if I had gone home, I would have missed out on this time for the Lord to do a work in me.

Listen to what I read from my devotional "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young that next morning.


Relax in my healing, holy Presence.  Allow Me to transform you through this time alone with Me.  As your thoughts center more and more on Me, trust displaces fear and worry.  Your mind is somewhat like a seesaw.  As your trust in Me goes up, fear and worry automatically go down.  Time spent with Me not only increases your trust; it also helps you discern what is important and what is not.

Energy and time are precious, limited entities.  Therefore, you need to use them wisely, focusing on what is truly important.  As you walk close to Me, saturating your mind with Scripture, I will show you how to spend your time and energy.  My Word is a lamp to your feet; My Presence is a Light for your path.



The Lord continued to reveal things to me during this time alone.  The clouds of discouragement began to leave me and were replaced with a spirit of Hope.  If I had given in and gone home, I would have missed out on my Mary time of sitting at the feet of Jesus.

How about you? 

Do you ever get caught up in busyness and realize you are simply avoiding what's really important?  Are you fearful of opening up your heart?  Are you so used to running about all day that when you sit down you feel like you're being lazy?

Blessings and love,

QuickEdit

Christian Group Writing Project


Faithful Bloggers is hosting their second Christian Group Writing Project.  This time the focus is on the topic of salvation.  

The Roman Road Scriptures were divided and each participating blogger had the opportunity to choose a verse.  

I chose Romans 3:23:

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."

I think SIN is a major stumbling block to getting saved.  After all, if you don't believe you're a sinner, why would you need a Savior?

You may think that certainly all people realize they sin.  But many people rationalize sin.  They claim their intentions are pure.  Or they may say they've never committed the really BIG SINS like murder or adultery. 

But Jesus says in Matthew 5:27-28:

"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

The standard is extremely high!

God is holy.  He is perfect.  He cannot come into the presence of sin. 

Consider this analogy.  If you walked into a smoke filled room and you never smoked, you would immediately be aware of the odor.  But if you were a smoker and you walked into that same room, you may not even be aware of the smell. 

That's like us rationalizing sin.  We tend to adjust to our own standard instead of God's standard of perfection.



We are born into this world with a sin nature.  You can thank Adam and Eve for that. 

Since God cannot be in the presence of sin, what can we do?
  • We can't earn holiness. 
  • We can't do acts of penance to secure us a place in heaven. 
The only way to God the Father is ...through Jesus His Son.

That is the most wonderful gift from a loving God.  He knew we were doomed because of sin.  But He sent Jesus to be fully human and fully Divine.  He lived a perfect life without sin and died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.  He was punished for you and me. 

Because He was the only One who could live that perfect life, He offers us a way to come to the Father.  By receiving His gift of life, we can be set free from the penalty of our sins. 

But there is one thing you must do to be saved.  



You must receive this free gift into your heart. 

Admit that you're a sinner and you can't save yourself.  Simply invite Jesus into your heart.

He will change you from the inside out and ...you will never be the same.

Blessings and love,

QuickEdit

Music or Silence?


Are you the kind of person who enjoys music? 

Do you play music:
  • while you work? 
  • when you exercise?
  • when you drive?
  • when you study?
  • when you read?
I enjoy music.  But I have a hard time focusing on my work while music is playing.  Before I know it, I'm singing or thinking of something else instead of what I'm supposed to be doing.  So, I often find there is silence most of the day as I work.

But there is one kind of music that is calming to me and yet not distracting.  I love to listen to piano music.  Maybe I'm partial because my mom played the piano.  And I did take lessons as a child but never was very good, sad to say.

Recently, Lisa Shaw wrote a blog post on Sharing Life with Lisa.  She introduced us to Tammi Yates. Tammi is a very talented musician.   I received a copy of her CD called Surrender as a gift from Jill of Forever N Ever N Always.  Thank you Jill!

I love this CD!  While I was in the moutains last week, this was the only music I listened to.  It was so soothing, calming and peaceful.  Just like Tammi! 

A few of the songs she included on this CD are:
  • God is So Good
  • I Surrender All
  • Finally Home
  • Amazing Grace
She uses a Korg Triton Studio keyboard.  There are sounds of rain, thunder, streams and dolphins in the background. 

Talk about relaxing!

I was able to pray and read my Bible with the music playing quietly in the background.

I've become blogging buddies with Tammi Yates and ...she's precious. 

I hope you'll stop by and say hello on her blog at A Vessel in the Potter's Hand.  You can also listen to some samples of her music on her website.

So back to my original question.  When you work do you prefer silence or music?

Blessings and love,


QuickEdit

My Time of Solitude


(Photo Credit: Away Network)


I had a time of solitude last week.  It was so refreshing to drive only two hours north of Phoenix and be in the cooler temperatures of Flagstaff.  The higher altitude was such a welcome relief.


I spent a lot of time in this chair.  I had my Bible, journal and a few books with me. 

This was the view I had as I sat in my chair.  To see the green and all the trees was very special to a gal who lives in the desert.



Aren't these views fabulous?

God spoke to me in the mountains.  I don't mean audibly but in my heart.  I've been going through a very challenging time and it's continued now for several years.  Frankly, I'm tired of feeling the way I do.

But I had a spirit of discouragement.  I was feeling sorry for myself and having a bit of a pity party. Have you ever had one of those?

As I spent more time in the Word and prayer, I became more hopeful.
 
Romans 15:13 says:

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
God is the God of hope.

As I trust in Him, the fruit of the Spirit includes joy and peace.

It is in the power of the Holy Spirit that I can have hope.

Trust and obey has been my theme for 2010 and I can say that I'm learning.  I seem to be a slow learner but with the Lord's help ...I'm growing in my faith.

It's interesting that I received an email upon my return from my blogging friend Janette of Janette's Sage.  She wrote that she felt led to share an article with me.  Guess what it was about?  Hope deferred makes the heart sick from Proverbs 13:12.  The article went on to say that the enemy uses discouragement as a weapon against us.  Well I say ...goodbye discouragement and hello to hope.  

I belong to God and He is a God of hope.

I've much more to share but I'll do several posts on this time away.  

How about you?  Have you felt discouraged lately?  Or do you continue to be hopeful despite the circumstances in your life?


Blessings and love,


QuickEdit
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