Matters of the Heart – Part 4
by Pam Maynard
Music has always been a huge part of our lives. When we first started dating, we were in a band together called Decision. Many of you know, Tim played drums and I played the keyboards. We traveled during my whole college experience with four other guys playing at churches, college campus events and concerts.
Being children of the 70’s, Tim and I decided to have an outdoor wedding. In true hippie form I wore flowers in my hair and we had guitar music for our ceremony. The song that we had played and sung was written by an artist known as Honeytree. The song was called Treasures. In this song, it talks about two people who commit their lives to each other and to the Lord. Even today, I can weep hearing the words of that sweet song.
The first year of our marriage we didn’t own a television so we listened to lots of contemporary Christian music. The song that we adopted as “our song” was entitled Right from the Start. This song describes the love of a couple from the beginning until the end with commitment that lasts a lifetime.
Little did we know then what trials and troubles would come into our lives. Together we’ve experienced the loss of Tim’s father, both of us have endured the diagnosis and treatments of cancer and we’ve had our share of pain. Yet our love has continued to grow. Today more than ever I realize what a treasure he has been to me.
Last summer while driving back to Kentucky/Ohio we found a new love song that we now call “our song”. Believe it or not it is an old Led Zeppelin song called Thank you. The lyrics are:
If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you.
When mountains crumble to the sea, there would still be you and me.
My love is strong, together we shall go until we die.
And so today, my world it smiles, your hand in mine, we walk the miles,
Thanks to you it will be done, for you to me are the only one.
Isn’t this the promise of our God? Psalm 46:1-2, 10,11 ” God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea. Be still and know that I am God. The Lord Almighty is with us. ” He promises never to leave, nor forsake and be ever present through all of life’s trials. (see Hebrews 13:5)
I also have a favorite song I like to call my heartsong to God. It is the song, In Christ Alone:
In Christ alone, my hope is found- He is my light, my strength, my song.
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My comforter, my all in all – Here in the love of Christ I Stand!
Today I challenge you to find time not only to tell the ones in your life of your love but find extra time today to tell God of your love and desire to be committed to Him for all of your life. And don’t forget to say “Thank You.”
Matters of the Heart – Part 3
by Pam Maynard
In my grade school years, the month of February was all about Valentine’s Day. We learned that Valentine’s Day was a celebration observed on February 14th where many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special “valentine”. Our teacher told us we were going to celebrate, too, and we were going to have a party in our classroom!Our classroom was decorated with red hearts, crepe paper chains and Cupid figures hanging from strings from the ceiling. One of my assignments was to decorate an old shoebox to serve as a “mailbox” for cards I would receive at our party.
As the party day approached, I carefully selected a card for each of my classmates making sure no one was left out. I even sent cards to some of the “stinky boys” that I didn’t like so much.
It was always really fun getting to read all the sweet Valentines from so many friends… and I got a box full!!
Tim and I still give each other Valentine gifts each year. It is great to get an expression of love confirmed on that special day. What is even sweeter, is, every day I work at Mayo Clinic, I pack my lunch in preparation for the long day ahead. Every day – yes, every day, my sweet Valentine slips a love note in my bag telling me of his love. It is something I look forward to and helps me get through some rough long hours.
John 3:16 tells us that “God so loved the world (this means He made sure that no one was left out), that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
I like to think about this verse as our Valentine love greeting from God.
What a gift of love He sent us!!
FOR REFLECTION: Express your love to God today. Pray thanking Him for this wonderful gift of love- the amazing gift of salvation.
Matters of the Heart – Part 2
by Pam Maynard
The Psalms are filled with accounts of praise and worship songs of thanksgiving to the Lord. I love to play songs on the organ each Sunday that make us turn our thoughts to praising God. He is our righteous, mighty Savior – indeed worthy of our praise.
We are so happy and very excited with the great news that we are going to have our first grandchild!!! We are so thankful for this wonderful blessing and praise God for this gift to our family.
When I was in nursing school, one whole semester was dedicated to obstetrics and maternal nursing care. I was able to study and learn all about the developmental stages a tiny baby goes through during those short 9 months. I studied hard and enjoyed the learning process, but nothing compared to the personal experience of having my own children and now a granddaughter on the way!
I still find it amazing and so wonderful how God is “knitting this baby together in her mother’s womb”. Psalm 139:14 describes that we are fearfully and wonderfully made!
God knows everything about us because He made us. He even knows the very number of hairs on our head! Psalm 145:17 states “The Lord is righteous in all His ways and loving toward all He has made.”
We can give thanks today for our righteous God who knows us so well and yet loves us so much. Today, He calls us to live a righteous life. Why? Because we are constantly called to become more like Jesus.
“Search me O God and know my heart, test me to know my anxious thought and see if there is any offensive way in me-and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139: 23-24)
Pray asking God to give you the strength you need as you face another day. Thank Him for His wonderful love. Find ways to praise Him today!
Matters of the Heart – Part 1
by Pam Maynard
Matters of the heart are often confused with our emotions and feelings of love. ” I love you with all my heart! ” is one common reference I’ve use to describe my feeling of love for my husband.
Historically, the heart was thought to be the seat of all thinking, emotion and the soul. Aristotle also said that the heart was the source of intelligence, motion and sensation. Modern medicine might care to differ an opinion stating that the heart is a muscle that pumps blood to all parts of the body. The brain is the center of our emotions.
Even with all our modern medical information, the reference to loving with all our heart still persists. Somehow it still doesn’t sound as good to say “I love you with all of my brain”.
February is designated as National Heart month. This is a campaign to increase awareness of the #1 killer of American men and women. The main risk factors in cardiovascular disease include: obesity, inactivity, diabetes and uncontrolled blood pressure.
By maintaining a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and not smoking, you can control risk factors and help protect your heart. Having a healthy heart is a great way to honor God. 1 Corinthians 10: 31 tells us “Whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”.
Matthew 22:37 sums up my thought. Jesus described the Greatest Commandment as this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
FOR REFLECTION: Take time today to thank God for your heart. Try to incorporate fitness habits that will improve your cardiovascular health.
Post written by Linda Warne
From Genesis to Revelation, God has chosen to reveal His character and nature through His many names. Whether Elohim, Yahweh, Abba, or Bridegroom, Advocate or Comforter…
God invites us to approach and enter the throne room of the Almighty, where we can experience through prayer the presence of our Father, God.
As a young believer, I learned to pray the names of God as a part of my personal worship time. It wasn’t long before I realized that not only was my prayer time greatly impacted by knowing Him by His many names, but I was being changed. It was impossible to spend time in His Presence and not come away conformed & transformed to be more like Him. As I prayed using the names of God, I found myself becoming less concerned with my own needs as I became surrounded by His power and majesty and experienced His faithfulness. I came to know an intimacy with God that made me long to be in His Presence, to discover at new depths who He was and who I was in Christ.
To this day, I pray the names of God, realizing that there are days I need Him to be my Prince of Peace, to calm my spirit and keep me focused. Sometimes I ask Him to be my Shepherd, to guide me and protect me. He is always my Advocate and Helper, dwelling within me and keeping me close. He is the Lord who Heals, My Rock, the God who Sees me, the Lord my Righteousness, my Shield, my Refuge, my Hiding Place and so much more.
1 Corinthians 13:12 (TLB)
In the same way, we can see and understand only a little about God now,
as if we were peering at his reflection in a poor mirror;
but someday we are going to see him in his completeness, face-to-face.
Now all that I know is hazy and blurred,
but then I will see everything clearly, just as clearly as God sees into my heart right now.
Today’s post is from Rev. Charles Ragland
You are aware we have many individuals and family members who are struggling with some ongoing health issues. Those who are homebound or in assisted living facilities are easy to identify. There are others who have ongoing problems or even short-term sicknesses, that we may not be so quick to identify.
It is important for us to pray for all of these individuals. They need the healing touch of the Great Physician and the assurance of God’s love in their lives. We are instructed to ‘pray one for the other that you may be healed’ James 5:16. And 1 John 5:14-15 reminds us “this is the confidence we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, hears us and if we know he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desire of him.”
It is also important not only to pray for these individuals but we need to also pray for their families, especially their caregivers. The daily care necessary and sometimes the decisions about the next level of care -what and where – are critical issues that need to be lifted up to God in prayer on behalf of these folks. You can also put feet to your prayers and visit or at least send a note to those for whom you are praying.
If God is leading you to do more than pray for these individuals, why not become a visitor in “Treasured Friends” which is our homebound ministry here at Fruit Cove?
I’ve just finished reading the book, Fervent – A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer. This book was inspired by the War Room movie, and I can tell you if you enjoyed the movie, you’ll enjoy reading this book.
Pricilla Shirer gives a glimpse of ten strategies Satan might use to attack us. Of course his goal is to see us passionless, powerless, and especially prayerless. She says. “In prayer you gain your strength – the power to gird yourself with armor that extinguishes every weapon your enemy wields.” We pray because our own solutions don’t work and because prayer deploys, activates, and fortifies us against the attacks of the enemy.”
I’m so thankful that God didn’t leave us without His strength, which we access in prayer, through the power of His Holy Spirit, who indwells each of us as believers in Jesus Christ. I’ve personally been so encouraged knowing that all my strength is rooted in who I am in Him and in the WORD of GOD. In that relationship, as a child of God, I have access to the very throne room of God, and all of the resources of heaven.
When Paul prayed for the believers in Ephesians 3, he prayed that they would be strengthened with power through His Spirit in their inner being, so that Christ would dwell in their hearts through faith. He asked that they would have power to grasp the depth of God’s love in Christ, and that they would know that love to the fullest. And then he proclaims, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us”… what a statement!
The battle has already been fought and won-We pray from victory not for victory!
The following is a guest post from one of our church members. Please read this powerful challenge to influencing our children through the Bible teaching ministry.
Take a look at this rope. There’s nothing flashy about it, no tricks, no nothing….it’s just a rope. And yet….it speaks volumes.
You see, this rope is 168″ long. Each inch representing one hour of the week.
Now….see that little black mark there? The tiny one….at the end? Well it represents one hour…..that’s the average amount of time each teacher has to pour into the the lives of kids and students here at FCBC.
Take a good look at the rope again…..there’s a whole lot of rope…..and only a tiny little mark.
Only a tiny little opportunity to pour Jesus into the lives of babies-seniors in high school.
One little hour to combat the other 167 they will face during the week.
One tiny hour to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those who may not see Him demonstrated in their homes.
One little hour to guard against all that the world will throw at them.
One simple hour.
And yes, some may come more frequently…..but even if they do, is a few really that much in light of 168?
And while the Bible is clear that it is the parents responsibility to be the primary Biblical teachers of their children…….we as a church have a great opportunity to assist in that process…..to be a part of parent’s plan to disciple their kids….and we need to take that responsibility seriously.
Teachers, what you do during that one simple hour has great implications…..simply put…..it matters. So thank you for taking it seriously, and recognizing the great responsibility you have been given. Thank you for spending every opportunity, during that hour you have, to pour Jesus into the lives of those entrusted to you. We are so very grateful for you.
And for others out there who aren’t currently teaching……would you prayerfully consider it? If you have been overwhelmed by what God has done for you…..for the cross….for salvation….for grace……don’t you want to do everything you can to point this younger generation to Him? To help them build a firm foundation in Him? To help them as they learn to trust in Him?
1 out of 168…..we have been given 1 in 168. So I ask you…what will you do with it?
For a number of years, Fruit Cove ladies have traveled to Greenbrier Birthing Center in West Virginia to serve expectant mothers currently serving sentences in that correctional facility. This year, Dianne Werner participated for the first time and offers this report:
We had a wonderful time ministering to the 13 girls at Greenbrier Birthing Center (GBC). Five women were still expecting so there were 8 babies ranging in age from a few months to almost a year old. We provide lunch each day and Annette Holley had all the meals and cooking planned and got us busy in the kitchen from the time we got there, but we had fun chopping and cooking and washing dishes in the kitchen together.
We had prayed for God to prepare the hearts of the women there and we found out that one of the women there had already heard about “the girls from Fruit Cove” when she first arrived last November and she was the only woman waiting for us when we arrived at GBC on Monday. They told her she would love the team from Fruit Cove and that the food would be great, so there was a positive anticipation among them when we arrived.
Five women from Deer Meadows Baptist Church joined us for our visits to GBC. They were great help to us as they learned what ministry looked like at GBC. The first couple days, we took in lunch, held their babies, ate with them and got to know them a little. We asked lots of questions about their families and what was waiting for them at home. We asked them questions about God, about their faith, and about their childhood when opportunities arose. We encouraged them, shared scriptures with them, and let them know we were there because we cared and because God’s love is so amazing and we wanted them to know how much He loves them! We took them Chocolate Fondue one day, a Keurig with all the ingredients for flavored coffees on another day and we loved on them and shared our hearts with them every day.
When we got ready to leave on Friday, there were many hugs passed out, some tears and prayers said with the whole group holding hands. God blessed us so richly! This was my first time to participate in this mission trip. I loved it and I am ready to do it again!
Thanks, Dianne, for this report and your perspective!
Dear Pastor Tim,
We pray all is well with you in the Lord. We would like to personally thank you for helping us for the past school year. Many children brought their report cards to say thank you and they were excited that they had the privilege of going to school this past year. We just would like you to know that we could not have sent the children to school without your prayers and financial support. Please extend our gratitude to the church body for us. We would appreciate your continued prayers.
Again thank you very much. We so appreciate what you have done for us. In our prayers, we ask that the Lord help you to realize that your prayers and financial support truly matters to the work of the Lord in El Shaddai. Thank you so much! God bless you!
“The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore; be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.”
—1 Peter 4:7
Please direct donations for El Shaddai Ministries to: http://www.christianlightministries.org/
Marie K. Prinvil & Elizabeth Clackler, Servants of the Lord Jesus-Christ