Who am I? Thoughts are the true measure

“Do not eat the bread of a miser, nor desire his delicacies; for as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:6-7, NKJV)

It is frequently stated that the figures of speech used in Biblical times regarding body parts may be relocated one organ higher for today’s audiences. Emotions were thought then to originate in the bowels or intestines, and thought or reason were properties of the heart. Today we feel emotionally with our hearts and think or reason in our minds. Continue reading “Who am I? Thoughts are the true measure”

Our need for closure

Five years ago, come July, my dad passed away. (Yesterday would have been my parents 65th wedding anniversary.) I was given the blessing of God to be able to be present for his last days, even though I live on another continent. God gave me similar blessings when my paternal grandmother and grandfather died as well. As a result, I was able to deal with grief in a positive way.

The human being has an inherent need for closure. Some feel a greater need for it, others less, but our psychological make-up drives us toward putting a tidy bow on intense emotional upheavals such as these: Continue reading “Our need for closure”

How living by emotion harms you

Emotions are a gift of God. We can feel Adam’s enthusiasm in his words upon first seeing Eve. Jesus himself expressed a complete range of feelings, from joy to exasperation.

Like all things human, emotions were also subjected to futility after the Fall, Romans 8.20. Satan uses our emotions to steer us away from God’s will. One of his best tactics is to stir up our feelings so that he can manipulate us.

When the Evil One manages to persuade us to live by our emotions, he knows the potential to harm us and keep us from God. How exactly does living by emotion harm us? Continue reading “How living by emotion harms you”

Feelings on your shirtsleeves

The tiny vase lapel pin that I usually wear on Sundays is now expected by my fellow worshippers. The little lantana that graced it on a recent Sunday caught the eye of one sister, who knows that I also like to share a photo of a flower every day on social media, calling it my “daily dose of sanity.”

“Well!” she exclaimed, “I see you have your ‘sanity’ here with you today, right on your lapel!”

“Yes,” I said. “Portable sanity! I love it.”

We both shared a laugh and a hug. Continue reading “Feelings on your shirtsleeves”

Of dips and dales

Rousing successes and mountain-top victories are not the stuff of life. They do not produce life nor can they define it.

Elijah discovered this, post-Carmel, 1 Kings 18-19. Wise men warn against letting the dips and valleys of experience determine personal value and satisfaction; let them alert the foolish that neither can the peaks and heights of accomplishment.

Many seek to increase time spent on the slopes of success. They strive for the vibrant hills of a moving heart. But the tops can be, in their own way, as draining as the dale. For beyond the pinnacle lies the downward incline to the next dip. Continue reading “Of dips and dales”

Follow your heart

One of the silliest Hollywood slogans of all time has to be this: “Follow your heart.”

Really? Have you found your feelings to be particularly reliable? The last time you felt like giving someone a piece of your mind, was that a good idea? The last time you had feelings for someone not your spouse, was that a good idea?

“The heart is deceitful,” the prophet warns us, “and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Continue reading “Follow your heart”