Thursday, May 23, 2024

Follow Your Heart

 “Place your passions, desires, and dreams under God’s control so that you serve God through the way he has designed you.” ~ Rick Warren 

Proverbs 27:19

As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.

Philippians 2:13

for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

God gave me so many talents!  I have an amazing memory for things from age 2 to about 36.  Beyond age 36 it is a blur.  Recently a church from a neighboring community announced they were launching in our community.   Their leaders immediately reached out to me as a leader in our community to get involved.  The running line when I met with different leaders was “do you not remember me?”  Some did, some didn’t.  They do see thousands of people a year, but I remembered them, and their story was easier to follow than mine was as I don’t have podcast and a media team.  However, this relationship forgotten or not made our working relationship so much easier, and we could work together to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  

I am so good at making images and flyers for my community.  I do this for many of the businesses and organizations in our community.  God gave that talent to me, and I can use it for the good of my community and neighbors.  

I am really good at photography! Yep, gift from God!  My photos have been shared thousands of times.  Drawing attention to a situation, a community, a place, an event - showing what God has given us and even sometimes a need.  

I am a decent writer.  Decent because often I tick people off, but I am decent and I often draw people to story - again, a talent from God. I use this skill to put God's word out, draw attention to a need, talk about something that needs to be corrected - BUT I can only be successful with it if I am doing it under God's Blessing.  It has backfired before.  

I see needs where others don’t see them.  I remember when we were working with the tornado recovery, I saw things that needed to be fixed and was able to pray and advocate for those needs.  

I can paint furniture!  This is actually how I make my living.  Yes, I can paint beautiful classic pieces of furniture.  I love it, I love seeing the masterpieces when they go to their new homes! God continues to bless me as I continue to provide affordable quality furniture to the people of my community.  

All of these talents and gifts are things God Blessed me with.  I can choose to use them for him or not.  We have our freewill, but when we don't use them for his good then we are not living under him.  

I am not perfect, and I often forget “god or me” and have to remind myself “am I really doing this for the God’s good or is it for my own satisfaction”.

I am following Pastor Rick Warren’s Study “Following Your Heart” and learning about putting my talents and skills under God.  

We often forget the amount of power we have, especially today with social media and instant messaging.  

I encourage you to take 30 mins of your social media scrolling or pop in your earbuds while you work and listen to Part 1, it will wake you up as to why you might be struggling:

Here are my takeaways from the study.  Not all of these are me but help me see more light into circumstances and people.  

  • Bitterness is the worst heart disease ever.  It will eat you alive.  It is worse than cancer.  When you are resentful and thinking about how to retaliate it keeps you in the past.  

Ouch, that hurts!  It is easy to be bitter.  It is easy to hold grudges.  When I listened to this one person came to mind, it is a woman that hates me - I mean really hates me, for something I didn’t even do, but she believes with her whole heart that I did, no matter how often I attempt to correct what she believes.  I pray for her, I pray God softens her heart, but also pray for her health and well-being.  I have seen her in passing and she looks so miserable, so uptight, and the hate she is feeling is pouring out of her body.   This kind of bitterness will take a person to their grave.  When I am praying, I am not asking for a rekindled relationship, but I am asking for peace in her heart.   She is an incredibly talented person, but her focus is hating for me instead of the great things she can do. I see that and I hurt for her.  

Thinking about that, I also have to check my bitterness.  I have GIANT wounds created by people.  Being a woman in leadership, well women are really mean, and sometimes men are really mean.  They do things to hurt me.  I have a neighbor that I can see them sitting on their front porch from my bedroom window - he says awful horrible things about me on social media.  Why?  I don't know.  It would be so easy for me to hate him and be bitter to him. I have to remember to let his hate and other's hate go, move on, and know that I am working for a greater power than this world.    

  • Under bitterness, I would add assumption, jealousy, and standards.  These emotions and actions often cause bitterness between people.   
    • Assumption:  We often assume that someone should do something that we want them to do.  We may not know all the facts, or we might know them, but be withholding the facts.  Assumption creates bitterness.  
    • Jealousy:  Social media creates so much jealousy.  So much jealousy.   I do not even need to explain this.  We all can check ourselves at the door with this.  
    • Standards:  You will hold someone you dislike to a higher standard than you will your close friends.  It is easier to pick your non-friend apart than it is to pick someone you adore apart.  No explanation - Check yourself.  

I have listened to this podcast 4 times in 3 days, I am slowly unpacking what I learn, journaling what I need to remember, and noting my own behaviors.  

Quick add it is easier to love people if you see Jesus in them first.   That’s Powerful!

Dear Jesus, thank you for giving us resources to help us see your light in the situation.   Thank you for giving us tools to learn from and sources to use.  Most importantly thank you for your word, the one true word, and the book to light our way.  Thank you for the Bible. 

Father, I am not without sin, but I rest in the fact that I have been wash cleaned by you.  Thank you! 

God, I pray that for those struggling or walking around carrying guilt, fear, bitterness, resentment, and more.  I pray you cleanse their hearts and use them and their talents for your good.  

Father, I pray you heal the wounds created by assumption, jealousy, and standards we have created in this world.  I pray you help us navigate through peace and love. 

Heavenly Father, I ask that you continue to use me for your work.  I desire to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  I desire to do your work and work for you in all I do.  I appreciate the hedge you have wrapped around me and the life you have given me.  I love you father with all my heart and soul. 

Father God, I pray you continue to speak to me and allow me to use your word to impact our world.  I pray that this message - your words - helps one person.  Creates one more soldier

 for the lord's army.  

God there has been so many blessings for my community.  I pray you continue to bless my community.  There are so many good people here working to do good things.  I pray if they march for you that you continue to use them.  If they don’t march for you that you convict them, cleanse their hearts, set them straight, and use them for your good!  I know they have incredible talents and could do so much for you and our community!  

Your Daughter, Becky of Marble Hill.  

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