Autumn Leaves 3 Column

Thursday, June 30, 2011

How’s Your Heart?

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”  Prov.4:23

I've just finished doing some painting in my kitchen, and living room.  It’s been several years… OK, more than ten years…. since these rooms were painted.  I must say there is nothing like a fresh coat of paint to make rooms look like new!  Frankly, I was so accustomed to the appearance of the rooms that I really couldn’t “see” them until the fresh paint was applied.  Now it’s apparent that the walls were in dire need of fresh paint!

It occurs to me that our hearts can be in dire need of “fresh paint”.  I can become calloused and hard if I don’t do the daily maintenance to prevent my heart from becoming dingy and dull.  Sitting quietly with Jesus in the Word, in prayer, and talking of spiritual matters with other Christians, helps to protect my heart from the dirt (sin) and pollution (world) in which I live.  Confession and repentance of the sins allows the Lord to purify me daily.  Monitoring the unhealthy influences of TV, internet, and other media are the preventive measures I can take to maintain the cleanliness of my heart.  It’s a battle. 

But the moment- to-moment battle guarding my heart is far less exhausting as I allow the love of God to permeate every available space in my heart.  Nothing can preserve the integrity of my heart more than the unfailing unfathomable love of my holy and gracious heavenly Father.  My heart is in His hands.  How’s your heart today?

Friday, June 10, 2011

God’s Presence

“Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.” 2 Chronicles 7:15-16

In my personal devotion reading this past week, I found something that I had never really noticed before.  In 2 Chronicles 7, I read that Solomon had completed construction of the Temple and is dedicating it.  Those of you who have been following my blog know of the struggle to lose weight and the importance of my body being a temple of the Holy Spirit as Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 3:16. 

The Temple was known as the resting place of God’s presence.  And as I strive to bring my “temple” under His authority, I realized that the power and comfort the Temple brought to the nation of Israel is just as accessible for me today!  I was struck by the verses I quoted to open this blog because in these Scripture, I am reassured that He is consecrating this “temple”, His eyes and ears are open to the prayers I offer Him, and His eyes and heart are always with me.  Therefore, I am never abandoned, I am never alone, nor am I a hopeless case when it comes to my weight!
As a matter of fact, I have lost two sizes since January!  But thankfully the size of my “temple” does not determine His presence, nor does my behavior.  His presence is determined by His consecration of me.  According to, ‘consecration’ means “to make or declare sacred or holy.”  He’s doing the work.  My job is to join Him in the work He’s doing.  Meanwhile, I am enjoying the fruits of His presence and His labors!