I feel ya – the empathetic heart of Christ 

I shared last week that my daughter started a blog, Divinesixght.

Her latest post is about the empathetic heart of Christ.

One of the greatest things about life is that you get to do it with other people. I love people and I love reading about how much Jesus loved people. When it comes to loving on anyone and everyone, Jesus lead the way. Lately, I have felt God putting the word empathy on my heart.

Read the entire post here: I feel ya – the empathetic heart of Christ 

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Tough Loss, but a Great Season

Massie SeniorsThe Clinton-Massie Lady Falcons season came to an end last night with a loss to Alter at Springfield High School in the Regional Semifinal. It was a tough way to end the season, but what a great season it was for the team.

Both teams entered the game undefeated and Alter couldn’t seem to miss, hitting 6 out of 9 three pointers in the first half. Massie had a tough time getting the ball in the bucket and that trend just carried on through the game. By the end of the game Massie didn’t make a three-point shot.

Syd came into the game with a dislocated index finger on her shooting. The injury occurred in the first quarter of the District Final game last Friday night. She played through the pain, even breaking open the stitches at some point in the first quarter. She led the team in scoring with ten points. She had tweeted that this was going to be a toughness test. I would say she definitely passed.

The Lady Falcons made school and county history by going through the regular season undefeated. They ended the season with a 26-1 record, three-peating as SCOL champions and repeating as District champs. They have much to be proud of.

Motives

question marksWhy do you do what you do? If you go to visit a friend in the hospital or sign the book at a funeral visitation or prepare a meal for someone, do you stop long enough to ask yourself why you are doing it?

In preparing for this Sunday’s lesson in our high school class, I came across this quote – “People are always motivated by at least two reasons: the one they tell you about and a secret one.” (O.A. Battista)

I’ve had to think through that a few times. Granted, there are times that we do something for other people out of the kindness of our hearts. They have a need that we are able to meet and we are moved to meet whatever that need is.

But I think there are also times where we might do something without the purest of motives. We may offer to meet that need knowing that we are supposed to do that or it presents a good image of who we are. We want people to think we are generous or selfless or compassionate so we do something for others that helps create that image.

In Matthew 6, Jesus talks about our motives when we give or when we pray or when we fast. Those are all good things, but Jesus warns against doing them to be seen by men.

I think the hardest work God has to do is in the human heart. I know I sometimes do what I know I should, even when my motives aren’t the purest. God not only needs to work on our behavior, but especially on the motives behind the behavior. I think that’s why God is so concerned with the heart. He keeps coming back to our motives. Some days it feels like we have a long way to go.

Enemies of the Heart

Practical.  When I think of Andy Stanley, that is the word that comes to mind – practical.  It seems that whenever he speaks or writes, he is able to cut through to the real issue at hand.  In this particular book, he truly does get to the heart of the matter.

He begins and ends the book with the same thought – our hearts are so important.  Everything we do – love, lead, parent, build relationships, teach, etc. – all come from our heart.  In his practical style, he drives his point home and drills down to the four enemies that we deal with in our hearts – guilt, anger, jealousy and greed.

Not only does he reveal the four enemies we face, he gives ways to combat those enemies.

It is easy as you read this book to see these enemies in someone else’s life.  Stanley addresses that reality and causes the reader to look inward to see if one of the four enemies has taken up residence in his or her own heart.  The questions he presents do help the reader take an inventory of what is happening inside the reader’s own heart.

Another bonus of the book is what he offers parents.  Through his own personal illustrations of talking about these enemies with his kids and the direct recommendations he makes to parents, Stanley equips parents to help their own children monitor their hearts.  Too often, as he points out, we focus on our kids behavior (what is happening on the outside) and neglect their hearts (what is happening on the inside).

This is a great resource for individuals, parents and those in ministry.  The content of this book would make a great teaching series for those who work with adults and students.

Pick up a copy of Enemies of the Heart and let Andy Stanley help you to begin to monitor the condition of your heart.

(I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review)

A Favorite Psalm

In my YouVersion reading, I came to Psalm 37.  It has been a favorite psalm of mine and I have read it often.  It’s one that I need to work on committing to memory.  Just wanted to share it today.

Psalm 37

Of David.

1 Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;

2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.

3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:

6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.

7 Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.

9 For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.

11 But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy peace and prosperity.

12 The wicked plot against the righteous
and gnash their teeth at them;

13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he knows their day is coming.

14 The wicked draw the sword
and bend the bow
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose ways are upright.

15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken.

16 Better the little that the righteous have
than the wealth of many wicked;

17 for the power of the wicked will be broken,
but the Lord upholds the righteous.

18 The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care,
and their inheritance will endure forever.

19 In times of disaster they will not wither;
in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.

20 But the wicked will perish:
Though the Lord’s enemies are like the flowers of the field,
they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.

21 The wicked borrow and do not repay,
but the righteous give generously;

22 those the Lord blesses will inherit the land,
but those he curses will be destroyed.

23 The Lord makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him;

24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand.

25 I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.

26 They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be a blessing.t

27 Turn from evil and do good;
then you will dwell in the land forever.

28 For the Lord loves the just
and will not forsake his faithful ones.
Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed;
the offspring of the wicked will perish.

29 The righteous will inherit the land
and dwell in it forever.

30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,
and their tongues speak what is just.

31 The law of their God is in their hearts;
their feet do not slip.

32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous,
intent on putting them to death;

33 but the Lord will not leave them in the power of the wicked
or let them be condemned when brought to trial.

34 Hope in the Lord
and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land;
when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.

35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man
flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,

36 but he soon passed away and was no more;
though I looked for him, he could not be found.

37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright;
a future awaits those who seek peace.t

38 But all sinners will be destroyed;
there will be no future for the wicked.

39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.

40 The Lord helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
(http://www.youversion.com/bible/niv/ps/37/1-11)