"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Friday, November 18, 2011

Heart Condition (re-post 1.30.11)

Surgery: the art, practice, or work of treating diseases, injuries, or deformities by manual or operative procedures.


The Latin word for heart is "cordis".  

The Latin root word for "cordis" is "cor".

From this mini Latin lesson we gain a little deeper understanding of why the core of an apple is the "heart" of the apple, and the core of an argument is essentially the "heart" of an argument.

The core is the center and this is where we often find our starting point on many issues that concern us.

As this Latin word traveled to its English resting place, it did so by way of the French. The French made a few changes, as only the French can do, and changed the spelling to "coeur". From this change we have words like "courage" (one must have a great deal of "heart" to be courageous), encourage (to give someone "heart" to carry out an act), and discourage, which means to give someone a "heart apart" about a particular situation, that is, to dissuade someone from doing something.

As I write this piece I can't help but fall in love with the fact that when we encourage one another we are literally "giving them heart" to carry out a certain act or deed.

That is powerful.

The condition of our heart is also powerful. Our heart can be an ambassador for compassion, passion and empathy, or it can be agent for selfishness, arrogance and pride.  Proverbs 4:23 states; "Above all else, guard your hearts, for it affects everything you do." 

The fact that our heart affects everything we do is a powerful, and somewhat frightful, thought.

The type of heart we have as individuals is paramount. 

In the story of the "Farmer Scattering Seed", found in Mark 4:1-9, Jesus, in the form of a parable, shows us the four different types of a heart an individual can have.

The FIRST heart is a heart that is HARDENED

"Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed. As he scattered it across the field, some seed feel on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it."
-Mark 4:3-4 

It is a sad reality that when a heart becomes hardened it becomes cold. It is unable to love or to accept love. When we have unconfessed sin, unresolved conflict, an unrestrained appetite and unforgiveness in our lives we produced a hardened heart. I could write extensively and exclusively about the reasons for a hardened heart (unconfessed sins, unresolved conflict, unrestrained appetite and unforgiveness for what the world has to offer and unforgiveness), but I will not. I will only say that nothing can grow or be planted in a heart that has been hardened that has any lasting value excecpt the love of Jesus Christ.

The SECOND heart is a heart that is HURRIED.

"Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The plant sprang up quickly, but it soon wilted beneath the hot sun and died because the roots had no nourishment in the shallow soil."
-Mark 4:5-6

A hurried heart is often a shallow heart. People that tend to have a shallow heart tend to be overly emotional. Many times their intentions are strong but their resolve is weak. They often start out fast without counting the costs when tackling a task or tackling needed change in their life. People that fit this description often fade fast when difficulties arrive on the scene and when discipline is needed to carry on and to succeed. Shallow hearts give up when the cost seems too much. Shallow hearts, like shallow people, are often displeased and are selfish people. In the end their roots are not very deep. I'm familiar with this type of heart because it describes my heart for more years than I care to remember. I have learned that for me to avoid a hurried heart I must spend time in God's word and in prayer. Roots, like tress, grow when the wind is the strongest; adversity often allows our roots to grow deeper in God's soil if we allow them to. Prayer and reading His word will aid us immensely in the process of growing deeper roots.

The THIRD heart is a heart that is HASSLED

"Other seed fell among thorns that shot up and chocked out the tender blades so that it produced no grain."
-Mark 4:7

A hassled heart is often a distracted heart. It is distracted by life and the many different trials and tribulations it has to offer. A hassled heart is overwhelmed by adversity and challenges, and that reality leads to a very distracted person. The three causes for a hassled heart is distraction -when we are distracted we miss God's opportunities and blessings, deceitful pursuit of riches and desires for things that have no eternal value. Life has a way of distracting us when we lack perspective and purpose, deceitful pursuits is nothing more than a ladder leaning on the wrong building with little, or no, support and desires that are lustful and are of no value prove to be empty once that desire is obtained. More times than not what we think we need we don't and want we incorrectly desire and want is never enough. When I look back at my past I realize that when I had nothing in the world's eye I was never left without having exactly what I needed. God always provides. In the end, when we have a hassled heart we have a heart that chokes the word of God in our life and the power that it He wants to delivers to us. I have also found that a hassled heart often has a poor choice of friends that it surrounds itself with. Poor friends are often the "weeds" and "thorns" in our lives. Landscape your life and rid yourself of all the weeds and thorns that are growing around your life and around your heart.

The FOURTH heart is a heart that is HOLY

"Still other seed fell on fertile soil and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty and even a hundred times as much as had been planted."
-Mark 4:8

A holy heart is a heart that is entrusted in God's protective hand. A holy heart hears the word, receives the word and acts upon God's word. A holy heart bears good fruit for the world to see. The testimony of a holy heart resides in the believer's actions more than in their words. It is a simple fact that there are "five" gospels in the bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and "The Christian", and that the majority of people will never read the first four; they will only observe "The Christian". "The Christian" will be watched at work, observed at the little league diamond and viewed from afar at the grocery store. "The Christian" will be observed to see if there is truly a holy heart within all who claim to have a personal relationship with God. To have a holy heart we have to accept God into our heart and live a life that is controlled by the Holy Spirit. We cannot do it alone. Galatians 5:22 shares with us; "But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce the kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Here there is no conflict with the law." That verse paints a wonderful picture for me of what a "Holy Heart" looks like.

In 1888 a man by the name of Ludvig Nobel died while visiting France. A newspaper in France erroneously published his brother's obituary. His brother was still alive. The obituary exclaimed "Le marchand de la mort est mort" ("The merchant of death is dead"). The obituary went on to say "that the doctor who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday."

The brother was so disappointed with what he read and concerned with how he would be remembered that he signed his last will and set aside a majority of his estate ($250 million dollars) to establish and fund an annual international award that would recognize cultural and scientific achievements.

The award is the Nobel Prize and the man was Alfred Nobel

Alfred Nobel
(10.21.1833 – 12.10.1896)

Ludvig's brother, Alfred, created a fortune for his invention of dynamite. 

The reason I share this story with you is not to condemn Dr. Nobel for his invention, but to praise him for his desire to look inward and reconstruct his heart. I have no idea what his intention was when he invented dynamite or if he believed in God, but what I do know is that he didn't like the legacy he was going to leave behind because of his life's work.  

Because of this dislike he decided that he wanted to change his legacy.

And he changed it forever.

As I get older I realize that the legacy that I leave for my children, and their children someday, is vitally important. And it is because of this and the story of Dr. Nobel I now understand more clearly that we all can be a surgeon and perform surgery on our own hearts.

We, along with God's providential hand, can change what we don't like others seeing in us and through us. We can also change, along with God's guiding hand, what we don't like when we look in the mirror.

We can change our legacy.

An Indian (not Native American) proverb states; "Whatever you are overflowing with you will spill out when you're bumped."  When we are annoyed, irritated, disrespected, cut off in traffic, insulted, talked about, lied about and "bumped" by another we will spill out onto others what our heart is full of.

As you read this what fills your heart? Is it forgiveness, love and kindness or is it malice, hatred and revenge?

What do you spill onto others when you're bumped? 

What condition is your heart in?

Is it hardened, hurried or hassled? Or are you like me and your heart is known to be a little of all three?  

Or is your heart on the path of becoming more Holy? 

The Latin phrase "ex abundantia enim cordis os loquitur" translated in English is "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."

What does your mouth, and actions, say about your heart?

What is the condition of your heart?

13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
-Mark 4:13-20

sbb  30.1.11

p.s. -remember we can't spell "heart" without the word "hear"... nothing says we care more than intently listening to the words that flow from another person's heart. When you truly hear another person you give them your heart.

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