Heart Keepers Ministries

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by Debbie on March 30, 2021

Here’s an interesting observation:

Letters make words! Words make letters!

Letter has two definitions:

a character representing one or more of the sounds used in speech; any of the symbols of an alphabet.

a written, typed, or printed communication, especially one sent in an envelope by mail or messenger.

I have been doing some organizing at my home in an upper room in my husband’s shop.

While organizing, I came across a plastic container with some letters.

These were hand written letters.

Three of the letters fell out of the container and I grabbed them up to read later.

When the day came that I read these letters, I was not prepared for how they made me feel.

They made me feel really nauseated, deep in the pit of my stomach.

These letters were love letters. One from my big brother and two from my sweet mama.

Why did they make me feel so sick? I wasn’t even sure, yet!

Here is an excerpt from the letter my big brother left for me on his kitchen counter dated 10-8-1983.

We rejoice with you in the success you’ve had in getting a new job. I trust you will give God credit as HE guides you to greater heights. You’ve only just begun! ...
Your uncle ( my mama’s brother) called and wants you to go to church with him sometime...
Be good; do what you do, do well; and be sweet, crisp, clean, and modest. You can do all things through Christ which strengthens you. (Phil. 4:13)...In His Steps, Don

Don was my half brother. We have the same Dad but different mothers. He was a pastor at a Baptist church in Lynn Haven, FL at the time he wrote this letter.

I was living in the small town of Graceville, FL and wanted a change, so I contacted him and asked if I could stay with him and his family until I could find a job and a place of my own.

He welcomed me to stay, with these two conditions:

I must attend church and tithe.

I moved in with him and his family and went to church and tithed, but with little passion.

The other two letters that I read were mailed to me from my mama.

One was dated 2-3-1986. Here are a couple of touching lines from it:

My Darling girl,

...So you and Jane (my roommate) take real good care of yourselves and I’ll be praying for you both...take care now. I’m so proud of your grades (I was attending college part time)...Love, Mom and Dad

The second letter mailed to me from my mama was dated 9-18-1986. Here are some touching words from it:

Darling Girl,
I hope this finds you feeling even better than yesterday, do hope things work out for the best for you. Try real hard to remember that anger doesn’t help anything, I know sometimes it’s hard but you will see it works better the kind way...Honey, just try to take things one day at a time. Just turn your problems over to the Lord, for remember, we could do nothing without him, but if we don’t ask him and trust in him he can’t help us...Much, much love Mom & Dad & All

Slowly I realized that I was grieving about times in my life when I didn’t really know the Lord or for that matter, want to know him. I was saddened by the time that I missed.

Yes, I went to church and tithed but only because it was required of me.

As soon as I found a townhouse I could afford near the beach, I left my brother’s home and his church and never returned to church again until October of 1996.

I realized I waisted over 10 yrs of my life living in the world and not in God’s Word. Yes, it greatly grieved me and I asked for his forgiveness. I realized God had given me a godly brother, a godly uncle, and a godly mother who tried so hard to direct me with words and letters to put God first in my life.

How in the world I just ignored their love and kinds words, I’ll never truly understand.

This morning I started reading in a new Bible called The Passion Translation and for some reason I started reading in Revelation.

I came across the letters Jesus lovingly wrote to the seven churches.

Christ’s letter to Laodicea seemed to help me better understand why I felt so sick about the years I waisted in the world instead of his word.

Here are a few excerpts from that letter:

Revelation 3:15-17, 19, 22

I know all that you do, and I know that you are neither frozen in apathy nor fervent with passion. How I wish you were either one or the other!

But because you are neither cold nor hot, but lukewarm, I am about to spit you from my mouth.

For you claim, “I’m rich and getting richer-I don’t need a thing.” Yet you are clueless that you’re miserable, poor, blind, barren, and naked!

...All those I dearly love I unmask and train. So repent and be eager to pursue what is right...The one whose heart is open let him listen carefully to what the Spirit is saying now...

I wish that my heart had been open to the words the Spirit was speaking to me through my brother and my uncle’s many invites to church and my mothers encouraging words, but as Jesus stated, I was clueless.

I didn’t understand the reason my life was so miserable is because Jesus was standing at the door knocking and I wasn’t interested in dining with him at all.

That is why I felt so sick. Because I know now the lukewarm state I was living in made Jesus sick too.

I am very thankful I am fervent with passion now but very sorry I waisted all those years just bring lukewarm.

I have repented and I am eager to pursue what is right and I now find myself writing letters to others in hopes they will have ears to hear what the Spirit is speaking to them, through me.

Here’s a challenge for you:

Read Christ’s letters to the seven churches and ask for an open heart and ears to hear what the Spirit is saying.

Repent if you find yourself identified in any of these letters and be eager to pursue what is right.

Think of at least one person you could write a love letter to that might need to hear godly words of encouragement. Be sure to pray for them and believe one day they will have open hearts to what the Spirit is speaking through you.

Darling Jesus,
I am thankful I can write this letter to you today. I am thankful I finally heard you knocking and listened to you and repented and began to eagerly pursue what is right.
Thank you for never giving up on me. I pray for those who may be deaf to your knocking. I know they are clueless and miserable. So I ask fervently that their ears would be open to hear your knocking at the door of their heart.
I pray they too would repent and be eager to pursue what is right. Thank you Jesus.
Much, much love Debbie.


The G”love” Solution

by Debbie on March 9, 2018

A sign? No I didn't ask for one. I just simply prayed a simple prayer. And the answer "came"!

With the weekend here I knew my flower garden needed some attention but boy my back was not looking forward to the task.

It would have been so easy to just put it off. But a sign showed up on my den floor and I knew it was time to go to work.

Let me explain.

Friday evening after work, my husband Mike was showing me all the things he hoped to accomplish on Saturday in our yard.

His mind was on trimming overgrown bushes.

As I stood in front of our flower garden in the front of our home, all I saw was massive pine straw with dry, dead leaves and weeds mixed in. I knew the gardner needed to get to work. I just happen to be the gardner, but my back was saying, "No, don't do that"!

And my husband was saying, just leave it like it is.
He didn't see the need to remove the dead dried leaves and weeds and old pine straw.

We agreed to disagree on that one.

Saturday morning came and I was in my most favorite place..having my "quiet time" with the Lord. Mike was in the kitchen making his wonderful smoked tuna dip. I heard him say from the kitchen, "Where did this glove come from?"

Of course I had no idea what he was talking about, so he brought the glove to me and told me it was laying on the floor next to the cats food. I just laughed and knew it was an answer to my prayer that I had prayed a few minutes earlier.

My prayer was, "Lord, do I need to work in the flower garden today"?

I had my answer! And I even had a glove to protect my hand.

Let me explain where this glove came from though.

A few weeks ago, Mike and our wonderful neighbor Tom took on a project to lift the cover on our boat so that water would drain off of it and not collect on the boat cover. It included PVC pipe and putting their brains to work.

They were having a problem keeping one of the PVC structures in place and Tom suggested they needed something to keep it from slipping. Mike took a look in his work shop and found one of my garden gloves that had rubber on one side of the glove.

He brought it out to Tom so proudly and they put their plan in place. It seemed to be the ticket and they both were satisfied with the solution.

Did I mention that a couple of our cats, Layla and Jack love to visit the boat and go "undercover"? Well they do and sometimes we see Layla sound a sleep while "undercover". We even joked about naming the boat, "Layla's Yacht".

Back to the glove.

Not many days after the men folk came up with the glove solution, I went to do some work in the yard and needed my gloves. Of course when I went to get them, I only found one. I thought that to be very strange and asked my husband if he knew anything about it and to my surprise, I got to hear the "glove solution" story.

Well, somehow I knew that I might need extra gloves this year for yard work, so I had purchased a three pack deal when I last bought gloves.

All the gloves looked the same, so I just went and brought out a brand new pair. I might mention that I didn't store them in his work shop anymore but in the car garage in a plastic container. No more disappearing gloves, right?

So on with the story...

I knew God was saying, yep, you need to work in the front flower garden today. So when I finally got started, I went to Mike's shop to retrieve the lonely glove whose partner had been taken from it for a great reason. Right?

Well apparently one of the cats...I am thinking Jack, because he loves
to carry things around and he loves when we work in the yard, brought it off the boat and into the house.

Yep, there was my "sign", that I hadn't even asked for. But by now Mike knew it was a sign as well, that I needed to get rid of those weeds, old straw and dried up leaves.

Okay, so why tell this long glove story?

Gloves have to be put on in order to protect or help us with whatever we need them for...gardening, golf, baseball, and even beauty pageants.

Earlier in my "favorite chair time", a Face Book friend (Pam Nevins) had posted a picture of a beautiful lapel pin that had the word love on it.

She related the following scripture to her new lapel pin. She said she made the lapel pin as a reminder (sign) to put on love.

Colossians 3:14

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

I commented to Pam that I would love to have one of her love pins to put on to remind me to put on love.

Okay, so how does the glove thing and this lapel pin relate?

I had to get up from my comfy "favorite chair time" and put the glove on that my kitty so obediently brought off the boat.

And we as Christians have to get out of our comfortable place of just loving when it is easy.

We have to put on love everyday. God is love and when we put love on everyday, we are putting God on and wearing love (God) in a way that others see Him and not us.

Let me share the few verses in Colossians 3 that came before verse 14:

Colossians 3:12-13

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

What a loving God to move the mind of a kitty to bring a g"love" for me to put on, and to use it as a sign to say, Yes to my prayer, of "should I"?

What a loving God to provide a friend to post a beautiful lapel pin (a sign) to inspire us all to put on love.

But should we love the hard to love and the unlovable too?

Oh Yes, God is saying, put on love! Not just for those who are easy to love but for the hard to love as well. Put on compassion and patience. Bear with each other.

Ugh! That sounds like hard work!

What about my flower garden?

Well...I put on my gloves and went to work. I accomplished a lot but still have more to do. I am thankful that the weeds, old dried leaves and pine straw are on the road in garbage bags to be hauled away soon.

What about my heart? Well I had to do some work there too. I found some roots of bitterness that had to be pulled up and put on the road too. I finished it off with putting on compassion, patience and love to bind them all together.

What about you? Does your heart need some work? Are there some roots of bitterness towards someone that you are still letting live in your heart?

Ephesians 4:31-32

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

So just as I put on my gloves and got rid of some old ugly stuff and some weeds and roots out of my flower garden, so I had to do in my heart.

The way that we "get rid" of anger and bitterness in our hearts is through confession to God (agreeing with God that we are angry) and then asking him to take
it away and put love in our hearts instead.

Let's pray!

Father in Heaven,
Thank you for the help you give to us to get us headed in the direction that we need to go. We all need beautiful loving hearts, not mean angry hearts that hurt others and destroy relationships. Help us all to put on love each day through prayer. Father we ask that you remove the bitterness and anger that we have let grow and cause trouble in our relationships. We want our hearts to be beautiful and to bloom with all the virtues you have told us to wear. Cleanse our hearts of the anger, resentment, bitterness, and malice that may have been in our hearts for years or just since a very few minutes ago. We ask you to fill our hearts with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control instead. Thank you that love covers a multitude of sins.
Thank you that the work of love that Jesus Christ did on the cross covers our sins. We will walk in love today and not dwell in the anger and resentment of the past. Thank you Father for Jesus and Jesus thank you for the cross. By faith we put on love Let everything we say and do look like you (love).
In your name we pray, Amen


The Love Line

October 31, 2015

There is a radio program called the Loveline which helps those who listen or call in, deal with things such as relationship issues or even medical issues. It is hosted by Dr. Drew pinsky and Mike Catherwood. I have only heard of this program but never listened but many line up to call [...]

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Outlaw or In-law?

October 9, 2010

I recently heard this little joke: Do you know the difference between outlaws and in-laws? Outlaws are wanted and in-laws are not!! Kind of a cute joke unless you are an in-law, I suppose. I am an in-law! I am a sister-in-law, a daughter-in-law, a cousin-in-law....!! If that joke has [...]

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Attention Deficient

August 31, 2010

When we first adopted our cat Moon, he was our "shop" kitty.  We had another cat at home that did not socialize very well with other cats, therefore we settled for letting Moon's new home be our business.  It took a while for Moon to adjust to his new home but he seemed to [...]

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True, True, True!

July 31, 2010

If it sounds to good to be true, it usually is!!  Someone I know received a letter and a sizable sum of money in the form of a check.  The letter stated that this person had won a lottery and that they needed to call a phone number that was in the letter to receive [...]

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How Great!

April 17, 2010

Sometimes children can teach us so much.  I was at my monthly hair appointment when I was so amazed by the cutest little boy.  He must have been no more than 5 years old.  His mother is a hair stylist at the same salon and she had brought him in for a much needed hair [...]

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“What Cha Doing?”

February 13, 2010

With two cats and a pet cockatiel in my house, things can get messy sometimes.  I find myself always cleaning up after one of them.  One of my favorite things to say to my cats is "What Cha Doing?".  They have never answered that question with words but boy have they ever answered it with [...]

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Mirror, Mirror…

August 8, 2009

It is amusing to watch my pet cockatiel Kay Kay look in her mirror.  Yes I said mirror.  She has a mirror in her cage and she absolutely loves to perch in front of it and say kind words to herself.  I am not certain that she realizes that it is really her.  She may [...]

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July 20, 2009

It is amazing what you can find on YouTube. I ran across a video that was very amusing. It was a scene from the TV game show “The Price Is Right”. A young lady was given 10 chances to win three prizes. The object of the game was to guess the [...]

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