Heart Keepers Ministries

by Debbie on November 26, 2017

Hardships

Written by Debbie Norred
November 26, 2017

I woke up this morning thinking of hardships in my life for some reason. I began to look back on my life and all I reflected on was how hard my life seemed to be.

Growing up poor, with parents much older than my friends was a challenge.

Living in areas that most saw as the poor side of town was hard as well.

Getting pity from teachers and preachers who often said I was “smart and beautiful”but more often than not felt sorry for me because of the very dysfunctional family I came from.

Teens years brought teen tears!

Driving a beat up rust bucket kind of car when others were sporting a new ride given to them by their parents was hard on my pride.

Dating the other side of the track guys was a joy to my heart but brought much pain. Rejection came early in my life.

Leaving home earlier than most my age brought hardships as well. Financially for sure!

I found my career in banking and success was a given because remember, I was labeled, “smart and beautiful”.

It is true brains and beauty can take you places. Sometimes for the good but also they might take you places you never thought you’d go.

Yes I did things and went places I certainly regret. That happens to all of us the “rich and the poor”.

The truth is hardships are not just for the poor. They are a part of everyone’s life. Money and riches can’t shelter us from hardships.

I know that because hard work paid off in my life. Perhaps being “smart and beautiful” also helped along the way.

Even when the “poor life” seemed to disappear and “the more abundant life” seemed to prevail, the hardships didn’t disappear.

Even when I became “poor in spirit” and turned my life over to Christ the hardships didn’t leave.

I have faced much hardship and pain in my life, as I am sure others have as well.

The truth is no matter our financial status, our IQ, or our physical stature/looks...we will all have trouble in this world.

The disciples had their hardship stories too. Let’s look at a couple here:

Matthew 14:22-33

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “ You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, “ Truly you are the Son of God.”

Luke 8:22-25

One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so the the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.

In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this?” He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.

I didn’t bring up my hardships for your pity today. I brought them up only to say that no matter where we came from or where we are now, or where we are headed, what really matters is:

Where is your faith?

Jesus doesn’t focus on the storms/hardships in our lives and neither should we.

When I woke up this morning my focus should not have been on my hardships.

When Jesus woke up his focus was on the disciples hardships. He took care of what they were facing. He spoke and calmed the storm in one instance and in the other he got in the boat with them and the storm died down.

We don’t have to focus on our hardships when Jesus is focused on them for us. He will come through for us just as he did for his disciples.

But in both instances he was most focused on their faith. In one hardship story he said they had little faith and the other hardship story he asked where their faith was.

So the moral of the story is:

No matter the hardships we face our focus should be on our faith.

Is our faith little or has our faith disappeared?

Jesus,
You are the the Master of the storms in our lives. We cry out to you today to help our faith to be bigger than our fear in times of hardship. We ask you to help us read your word so that our faith will increase and we ask you to pray for us as you did for Peter, when he was sifted by Satan with your permission, that our faith would not fail. Lord heal our hearts from the scars of past hardships and strengthen our hearts with faith to face the hardships we are in or that will come in the future. Thank you that when storms/ hardships arise you are not far off. We ask you to come to us and immediately rescue us as you did the disciples and we ask that you get in the boat (hardship) with us. Remind us to focus on our faith in you and not on our hardships/storms.
In your name we pray for grace and mercy in our time of hardship. Amen

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HURRY! CALL 911!

by Debbie on October 6, 2017

As I was getting ready to go to bed tonight I noticed the time on my husband's cell phone said 9:11. I watched as he slept soundly in his recliner and I was thankful.

However, the 911 on his phone made me very aware that many are in a state of emergency right now.

So many things crossed my mind like a quick slideshow before my eyes.

From the friend who just shared with me about her sister's husband suddenly leaving his earthly home, seemingly so untimely, and going to his heavenly home and leaving many behind to endure all the pain and grief that such a unexpected situation would certainly cause.

Then I saw the many in foreign countries and my own country who have lost their homes and even worse their families to sudden freaks of nature such as powerful wind storms, fires, floods, earthquakes, mudslides and things that just can't be explained or truly prepared for.

Then the evil of unnecessary deaths happening at events that are supposed to be escapes from the stresses of life such as concerts, parades, marathons and company parties.

What does one do to find shelter? Who does one call upon?

There is a 911 in God's Word that is a safe and good place to start.

Psalm 91:1 says:

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

It's so good to hear first of all that the Word of God does not discriminate but clearly states that "whoever" is welcome to dwell in the shelter...!

Are you looking for a shelter from the storms of life that are trying so hard to beat you to a pulp? That are trying to drown you? That are trying to steal your joy? That are testing your faith? That are distracting you from seeing our big God? That are causing you to keep your eyes on the storm?

Then call your 911 God now!! The Most High God will answer and walk you through it. He won't hang up on you. He will give you comfort and wisdom to help you know what to do next. He also has some mighty powerful angels that he will send out immediately to rescue you , guard you and do whatever is necessary to keep you through this time of uncertainty!

As a matter of fact, Psalm 91:1-16 has more to offer than just a temporary storm shelter.

Take time to read it, pray it, believe it. There is a 911 call that you can make that will never hang up. The Most High God will stay connected to you as long as you will let him. Give him a call right now!

Most High God,
I'm calling your 911 number tonight on behalf of all people who are in emergency situations. Lord send your angels to minister to them and walk them through these tragic situations that they are trying to live through. Most High God I ask that you pull each one to you and shelter them under your wings and give their grieving hearts a rest. Lord all I can do is call and ask and respond to those that ask me to help. May many be helped by your emergency number in Psalm 91. May they read it, pray it, believe it and most of all be able to live through all that they are facing because you answer their emergency call and never leave them hanging on without your guidance and wisdom to walk them through it. You are faithful and available and we are so very grateful! Because of Jesus we are helped. Amen

PSALM 91

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

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Just Passing Through

July 26, 2017

My family used to live in a very small town in Florida called Campbellton. It was one of those places that if you blinked a couple of times you would pass right through it without even knowing it.
When I was younger I hated living in that small town. There was absolutely nothing to do there [...]

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His Presence Is Our Hope

May 17, 2017

HIS PRESENCE IS OUR HOPE!
Life is hard but God is good! Nothing can change the goodness of God. Yes hard things happen to us.
We run into some Red Seas with mighty waves.
We run into some Jordan Rivers in flood stage.
We run into some mountains that seem hard to move.
We run into some hills that seem [...]

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NO, NOT YET!

May 14, 2017

Yesterday I had the privilege of being with my precious mother who is now 96 years young. She walked out of her house looking beautiful and ready to go, right when my car pulled up to her house. She had been ready and waiting on me for over an hour because somehow she thought I [...]

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You Asked For It!

May 2, 2017

Asking
Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the kingdom.
-C.H. Spurgeon
Ye have not, because ye ask not.
James 4:2
When I was in school we were taught that we must raise our hands if we wanted to ask the teacher a question.
Sometimes the teacher would ignore us. Sometimes the teacher would give us permission [...]

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Love and Adversity

March 14, 2017

A friend loves you all the time, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
Proverbs 17:17
This was my scripture of the day on my computer this morning. It certainly is very true, as all of God's Word is. Let me explain....
This morning Mike is very sick with a virus and unable to come [...]

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Good Help

March 13, 2017

I have often said "good help is hard to find"! Being a business owner can lead you to feel that way at times when searching for good employees! Lord knows we have had some challenges through the 31 years of running our appliance business!
I was reminded this morning, however, that good help is not hard [...]

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God Gives Do Overs!

March 6, 2017

God gives do overs, do you?
Then the LORD told Moses, "Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones. I will write on them the same words that were on the tablets you smashed. Exodus 34:1
Lord,
Thank you that you are a merciful God and your mercies are new every morning and great is your faithfulness [...]

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JESUS WILL PROVIDE

January 16, 2017

Mark 8:16-21
16At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread. 17Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “Why are you arguing about having no bread? Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? 18‘You have eyes—can’t you see? You [...]

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