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Guilt Archives - Page 2 of 4 - Heart of the Matter
Stay in Touch with Our World

Stay in Touch with Our World

 

Stay in Touch with Our World

I once had a friend who came to Christ from a very secular lifestyle. The cute Bible covers prevalent at the time bothered her, and our lingo confused her. Those of us in the church have an entire vocabulary of Christianese, which can isolate us from unbelievers around us. For example, the word ‘saved’ has a particular meaning to us inside the church. Even the word ‘church’ has a unique definition because it refers to the people, not the building. Another example would be the ‘body of Christ.’ When we say that we are referring to believers as a whole particularly in view of spiritual gifts. A non-believer might think we are speaking of the physical body of Jesus. Even the various names we have for our Savior can be confusing. When I was a child, I assumed “Christ’ was his last name because I heard it combined with “Jesus’ so often.

Living in our Christian bubble feels comfortable, especially with the rapid changes around us. However, if we stay completely isolated, we won’t understand how others think. We won’t be able to share our hope with those who need Christ, and that is a huge part of our mission. In First Corinthians Paul said. “…I have become all things to all people that by all means I might save some.”

 

The Bible teaches we are all sinners, and even the things we consider good is like filthy rags before the Lord. That means that unsaved people might make choices we don’t expect, and respond in ways we can’t understand.

Terri Blackstock is today’s guest. She has just written, If I Run, which is a novel about a complex character who grew up without Christianity.  Her goal was to remind us how someone outside our faith might face a difficult situation. Listen and enjoy.

Learn more about Terry Blackstock here.

Author

Terri Blackstock

 

People-Pleaser Recovery

People-Pleaser Recovery

 

People-Pleaser Recovery:

Most of us have a longing to please others, otherwise, we wouldn’t be very social. Someone who doesn’t care at all about the opinion of others is called a sociopath. That desire to be social, however,  can become a crippling addiction and hold you captive. Let’s look at the problem.

When I homeschooled my kids, I taught them a fact was something  true, something you could prove, or a set of events that really happened. On the other hand, an opinion was someone’s interpretation of those facts. People observe you and form an opinion of you and of your choices. You can’t control that, even though I’d love to make everyone like me.

I recall when my daughter was little. She’d become furious with me if I chose to do something she didn’t like. As a mother, I knew I must pray and keep the future in mind as I made decisions for the family. That meant being strong when my decisions made my kids angry.

In the first century, the Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the church at Corinth. Some of the church members had been baptized by Apollas and some by Paul, and they took sides, dividing up the body of Christ. One person would say he couldn’t participate in something because Apollos would not do that while someone else would insist on following a different teaching from another teacher.  So Paul wrote the Corinthian church.  Let’s look at what he said.

1 Corinthians 4:3 – 4 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges.

Isn’t’ that interesting? Paul brought them back to God, the one person who matters. God holds the position of judge, so he’s the one who matters. Getting to Paul’s position can be tricky. Today I have Jennifer Slattery. She’s going to share how the Lord helped her overcome her addiction to being a people pleaser.

Jennifer Slattery

Jennifer Slattery

You can find Jennifer’s website here.

 

 

Valentine’s Day: Love Your Husband

Valentine’s Day: Love Your Husband

Valentine’s Day: Love Your Huband:

Today’s media overwhelms us with talk of the sensual side of love. Clothing, perfume, toothpaste, and other merchandise will help you achieve‘sexy’ or ‘hot.’ TV and movies depict unmarried couples engaging in sex as if were no more important than lunch. As Christians, we believe sex belongs in marriage. The world might see our convictions as negative and prudish. But, on the positive side, since sex belongs in marriage, we should embrace and encourage sensuality in that context. 

 Years ago when I was shopping with my girls, I stopped to admire a fancy nightgown. One of my daughters looked horrified and commented that only a prostitute would wear such a garment. I knew right there it was time for a lesson, and I said,”Don’t ever call a married woman a prostitute.” Looking back, I probably came on too strong, because she frowned and walked off, rolling her eyes. But that’s a message the church needs to give to married couples and our young people. We should be shouting a big yes when we discuss sex after the ceremony.

 I encourage women to be careful about relationships with men other than their husbands. Hormones work well. Things can make things get out of hand and create problems. I tend to be a little distant or even a little cold in that situation. Often I’ll address the man’s wife if she’s present. However, a woman can and should let go with her hubby. Come on, ladies. Flirt a little. It’s fun and appropriate. Check out Song of Solomon 1:2 where Solomon and his wife talk about their love for each other:”Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine.”

Many of us, however, get a bit stuck because of our self-image or a painful past, but there’s hope. Shannon Ethridge is my guest for Valentine’s Day. She has geared her entire ministry toward helping women get past their hangups and enjoy sex.

Best Selling author and Speaker

Shannon Etheridge

To learn more about Shannon and her ministry, click here

 

 

 

Be a Bondage Breaker

Be a Bondage Breaker

Be a Bondage Breaker

Surely everyone would want to be released from bondage.  Right? You can be a bondage breaker.

There’s an interesting story told in the OT about that.

Theologians dubbed Jeremiah the weeping prophet. He had to deliver bad news and was often despondent. The spiritual failures of his nation tormented him because God had revealed his plan. Bondage. Jeremiah didn’t want his job, but the heartrending message burned inside him. He worked hard delivering God’s decrees, even employing creative imagery. His fellow citizens, however, preferred the soothing messages of the false prophets. Despite Jeremiah’s concern, his people plotted against him and threw him into prison. What a burden he carried.

Jeremiah had prophesied an upcoming invasion. And As he predicted, in 605 B.C. the Babylonians attacked and carried away the first captives. Daniel another prophet in the Old Testament was in that group. King Nebuchadnezzar deposed the King Jehoiachin who reigned in Jerusalem and placed Zedekiah, a man Nebuchadnezzar thought he could control.

Now, I don’t know about you, but after that incident, I like to think I would have listened to Jeremiah. He was correct. But most of the people continued living exactly the same way. Ignoring the alarm. After that event, Jeremiah predicted the fall of Jerusalem

I find it so interesting that King Zedekiah called Jeremiah to the palace and asked him what to do. Jeremiah told the king he would live if he gave himself up to the King of Babylon. The king refused and suffered the fated Jeremiah predicted.

I can relate to this story. I want our nation to turn back to God and avoid the judgment that will come. I want to be a bondage breaker.

Singer and song writer, Dennis Jernigan is my guest today. He’s written a book and completed a video series called, Stand in Love. It’s for churches and others who want to break their bondage.

Learn more about Dennis and his ministry here.

Writer and singer

Dennis Jernigan

Broken Chains

Bondage Breaker

 

Having Holiday Blues?

Having Holiday Blues?

Having  Holiday Blues?

Walking through the neighborhood during December offers a feast for the eyes.  Lights twinkle everywhere, nativity sets grace the outdoors, lights sit in windows. Plus this year some people have an entire plastic garden of toys, complete with trains, Santas and moving figures. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and even guilty because you don’t put out the energy that your neighbors expended.

I’m sure you all recall the story of Mary and Martha in the New Testament. They were close friends of Jesus and he often stayed in their home.  On one occasion Mary worked hard to prepare a meal for the master. She became annoyed  that her sister wasn’t helping, and she requested Jesus to get her sister involved. His reply probably stunned her: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Some of us feel like Mary during the holiday season when we’re supposed to be celebrating the Savior’s birth. Our lives become a mad dash, and we often forget why we’re supposed to be joyful. It’s so easy to be tense and irritable during this season of rejoicing.

Author and speaker, Jennifer Slattery is my guest this week. She had learned to live with  chronic illness. and she’s going to give us some great ideas on remaining calm and focused.

Learn more about Jennifer here.

 

Holidays: Loving Difficult Relatives

Holidays: Loving Difficult Relatives

Holidays: Loving Difficult Relatives –

The holidays are approaching fast, and it’s such a busy time. Many of us will see relatives we love and a few relatives we don’t like. For some of us,  Thanksgiving and Christmas bring stress as we consider interacting with  that difficult person. Today we’re here to offer some thoughts to make those times easier.

I remember what Paul said in Romans. He advised us strongly to make our bodies a living sacrifice. I don’t know if you’ve noticed the change in language these days. But you’ll hear people talk about freedom of worship rather than freedom of religion. I think that’s deliberate. People who don’t understand our faith assume everything happens inside a church, but it doesn’t. A living sacrifice doesn’t crawl off the altar. In fact, that phrase is an oxymoron. That’s like saying that’s a hot ice cube. The word sacrifice entailed death.  In our case, however, we are to live all the time through Christ as if the old nature is dead.  That’s or service of worship. In that same passage in Romans Paul says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Hebrews 12:14)  What a huge assignment, especially with the history we bring to our families.

Today we have Counselor Judy Herman to share ideas about demonstrating God’s love to those hardest to enjoy.

Learn more about Judy here.

Learn more about the topic here

 

 

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