Heart Keepers Ministries

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by Debbie on May 11, 2018

Written by Debbie Norred
April 24, 2018

You know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. — 1 Peter 1:18-19

There are not many things in my life that I allow to get empty.

I always make sure our pantry is amply supplied, as well as our refrigerator. Which of course makes sure our stomachs are not empty.

I make sure our kitties have food and water in their bowls because I don't want their tummies to be empty either.

I always add paper and ink to my printer at home because I can't print when it is empty.

There is one thing that I am known to allow to get empty though. My car's fuel tank.

I really hate taking time to put fuel in my car!!

It's not that I don't know how. I do know how!

It was one of my very first jobs as a youth-- pumping gas!

My parents operated a Mom and Pop business which included the sale of fuel.

There were times when cars would be lined up for a long time waiting to fill their tanks so their cars could keep going. So I have lots of experience, believe me!

There have been more times than I want to admit when I have allowed my car to run out of fuel.

Anyone from my husband, my son, or faithful friends have come to my rescue.

The most resent time was an early morning after leaving the gym. My son and I had just had a very good leg workout and I was giving him a ride home.

His condo requires that we cross a busy bridge over a beautiful body of water.

This particular day, we were just cruising along when suddenly my car started sputtering and I looked at the fuel gauge and knew I had messed up! AGAIN!

My son strongly encouraged me to get out of traffic while the car still had momentum.

It was a busy morning on the bridge, and I knew if I called my husband he would most likely be away from his phone getting ready for work and I certainly didn't want to admit to him that I had failed to fill my car's fuel tank once again. Ugh!

So, I called a friend. A good friend, I might add. I called upon the youth pastor at our church. He and his family live very close to the bridge and I was hoping he could come and help.

So as soon as my son knew help was on the way, he started walking across the bridge with tired legs. Poor child! He knew he had to be at work on time because Mom wouldn't be. (family business)

It was a busy morning on the bridge, but my friend came to my rescue and filled my empty car with a little fuel. It was enough to get me going again and get me to a station to fill up.

Why am I telling you all this? Because when I read the Scripture in 1 Peter 1:18-19 the words EMPTY WAY OF LIFE stood out. Not only that, but I saw that this empty way of life had been handed down to me by my forefathers.

Yes there was a time in my life that I lived the empty way of life. Empty of God! But I made a decision to call a friend. That friend is Jesus. He came to my rescue! He filled my empty soul with his wonderful Holy Spirit. Suddenly I was full of life and he became the lifter of my head.

But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. Psalm 3:3 ESV

Are you living the empty way of life? Do you need someone to lift your head and give you hope? Are you so busy making sure that nothing else in your life is empty that you have forgotten God. Maybe it's time to call a friend. That friend is Jesus. He is more than just a friend though.

He is our redeemer! His precious blood purchased our souls. What a risk he took that day on the cross just hoping that one day you and I would call him for help and ask him to fill up all our emptiness with his wonderful Holy Spirit.

My friend that came to my rescue that morning on the bridge actually put himself in danger for me. He was adamant that I stay in the car while he filled my car with the fuel he had brought. Yet all the while he was having to keep a watchful eye on every car that closely zoomed by him.

I told him he was my hero! He blew it off as nothing! Yet I know risking his life on a busy bridge wasn't exactly what he wanted to be doing first thing in the morning. Oh, and did I mention, I woke him up and he was on vacation! I tried to pay him but he wouldn't take anything.

What a hero!

Jesus is our ultimate hero though. He built a bridge to God for us on the cross. No more empty way of life. All it costs us is a call to him for help.

Don't wait until you run empty before you call the best friend you could ever have-Jesus. He will answer and come fill your emptiness with abundant life. What a hero!

Dear Jesus,
I am thankful that I can call you my friend. I am thankful for the redemption you gave my empty life on the cross. Thank you for your precious blood that was shed for all my sins.
Jesus I call to you today to fill all my empty places with your Spirit. Holy Spirit I give you permission to work in my life and fill the areas of emptiness with your fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Thank you God for giving us Jesus to bridge the gap from the empty way of life to an abundant life. Thank you Jesus for rescuing me from this empty way of life. You are my hero. In Jesus name, Amen.


We Are Missing Jesus!

by Debbie on December 4, 2010

For several years now I have been on the hunt for a Nativity set for our lawn. Each year I enjoy looking at Christmas lawn decorations to see what we might add to our collection. Unfortunately I don't find many to my liking. This year on my excursion for new decorations I saw a Nativity set that was nearly life size. It was the first thing I saw as I entered a local store in my home town. I admiringly looked it over and saw that it was 50% off but there was no price tag displayed. The only other tag displayed, directed me to ask the management for pricing. I suspected that the price would be much higher than I was willing to pay.

I did my decoration shopping and came up with a few new things and went to the check out. I decided to ask the price of the Nativity set just for the fun of it. Even though the set was 50% off it was still well over $1000. However the manager made a statement that was quite humorous to many of us who were listening. She stated very loudly, "We are missing Jesus!". One lady in the line next to me overheard the conversation and said, "What's the point of having a Nativity set without Jesus?".

The "missing Jesus" brought to mind a story in Luke 2:39-52. Let's take a moment to read it now:

The Boy Jesus at the Temple

39 When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.

41 Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. 43 After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you." 49 "Why were you searching for me?" he asked. "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them. 51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

The astonishing thing about this story, to me, is that Mary and Joseph were unaware that Jesus was missing. It seems they would have done a head count before leaving town. Instead, it seems the head count happened a day later. That is when the search for Jesus began. Can you imagine going three days without knowing where one of your children are? I know that it must have been a heart wrenching time for Mary and Joseph. It seems that they would have been excited to find him in the Temple but all they could say was "Why have you treated us like this?". Jesus in turn didn't seem to think it was such a big deal for him to have stayed behind in the Temple. He seemed to think that his parents should have known that was where he was. However, scripture tells us that they did not understand what he was saying to them. Typical scenario between parents and children isn't it? Sometimes we just don't understand our children. We have a plan for them and it seems they have another plan. Jesus was respectful enough to his parents not to push his plan (God's plan) on them. He understood that they did not understand. It seems Mary had an idea that something was amiss besides Jesus. I believe that is the reason she spent some time pondering what had happened and began to see the bigger picture of Jesus' life.

Have you spent some time pondering what the bigger picture of Jesus' life is? Perhaps this Christmas season would be a good time to do some pondering about where Jesus is in your life? Is he included in every part of your life or is he missing in some areas? Christmas is the time that we celebrate the birth of Jesus. It is Jesus' birthday. Perhaps the greatest gift we could give him is a closer walk with him. A walk in which we would know immediately if he was missing in some area of our lives. A walk in which we would be very aware when his presence is missing. Do you include him in some areas and exclude him in others?

I can assure you that after losing Jesus for three days that Mary and Joseph had a closer walk with Jesus. I would bet that he had to be in their view continuously on their walk home from Jerusalem. Oh that we too could be like Mary and Joseph and find Jesus in the areas that he is missing and then make sure that we walk closely with him and keep him continuously in our sight. What a wonderful gift to give Jesus! Let's do like Mary and Joseph and begin anxiously searching our hearts for areas that he might be missing. Once we find those areas, let's ask him to help us have a closer walk with him in those areas. He is willing, are you?

Well I still haven't found a Nativity set for my lawn. I had to pass on the Nativity set that was missing Jesus. Ironically the sales clerk went on to quote me a price of what the set would cost without Jesus. It was only $30 cheaper without him. It made me realize that any area of my life that is missing Jesus has been cheapened. My search for a Nativity set will most likely continue but my search for Jesus will definitely begin. I don't want any area of my life to be cheapened because I am missing Jesus. Will you join me on my search for Jesus? The only cost will be a willing heart.

Dear Jesus,
Thank you so much that you are willing to be a part of every area of my life. I know that there are areas that I don't include you in and I want to change that. I don't want any part of my life to be cheapened because you are missing. Jesus this Christmas season I want to begin a closer walk with you. Show me the areas that I am missing you and then please come closer and walk with me. Help me give you first place in every area of my life. Happy Birthday Jesus, my gift to you this year is just a closer walk with thee. In your precious name Jesus I pray, Amen.


Mo Shoes

May 15, 2010

I don't know about you but when I have had a stressful day in my life I am looking for an outlet for peace.  One of my favorite things to do when I feel especially stressful is to take a walk on the beach.  I happen to live within 20 minutes of the world's most [...]

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