Do You have a Heart Murmur?

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Doug Bolton, the founder of Signs of Hope, is writing a new book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.” It reaches out the military and veterans who may be battling anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, rejections, PTSD, and many other usual suspects. There are 22 military connected suicides every day. That is almost one every hour. We need to help stop those statistics. Be looking for more updates about the new book.

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I am very excited to announce we have a new guest blogger. Michael Thorin is joining us each month on the third Sunday of each month. He has some inspiring thoughts and ideas to share. His first post is about PTSD, and how he found his way out of the fog of this world. 

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Heart murmurs…

 

* are extra heart sounds caused by turbulent blood flow, sufficient enough to produce an audible noise, ranging from very faint to very loud.

* are due to functions and activities of life or of living matter (physiologic conditions) outside the heart.

* are a treatable and preventable condition. If not serious, medication will improve the condition. If more serious, surgery may be in order.

 

But what if it is spiritual rather than physical? Are those heart sounds, from faint to loud, due to conditions outside the heart?

 

Israel had this heart problem. What was it? Murmuring and complaining. And God was grieved and disgusted with this whiny bunch.

 

God once said to Moses and Aaron, “How long will this evil congregation murmur against Me? I have heard the complaints the Israelites murmur against Me.” (Num. 14:27 Amp)

 

What were the outside conditions that caused their murmuring? They deplored their situation. Israel “grew impatient along the way, and they began to murmur against God and Moses. ‘Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness?’ they complained. ‘There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this wretched manna!’” (Num. 21:4-5 NLT)

 

David said that “they despised the pleasant land, having no faith in His promise. They murmured in their tents, and did not obey the voice of the LORD.” (Ps. 106:24-25 ESV)

 

The results of too much whine? The book of Numbers should be a red-flag warning to all of us. Because of their murmuring and complaining, God implemented numerous forms of punishment, among them…

 

1) fire

2) plagues

3) fiery serpents

4) death for the entire congregation except for Joshua, Caleb, and those under the age of twenty.

 

God chastised Israel, saying to them, “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness of [mind and] heart [in gratitude] for the abundance of all [with which He had blessed you], therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord shall send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and in want of all things.” (Deut. 28:47-48a Amp)

 

That was the Old Testament, you say. But has God changed?

 

The English translation of The Received Greek Text says in 1 Corinthians 10:9-11a, as Paul exhorts, “Neither overtempt Christ, as some of them tempted, and perished by serpents. Neither should you murmur, as also some of them murmured, and perished by the destroyer. And all these things happened to those as examples, and it was written for our warning.”

 

All these things happened as object lessons for us – to warn us against whining, complaining, and not being grateful because of life’s adverse circumstances – that we might not receive God’s discipline. He may use different methods today, but His righteous anger has not changed.

 

Is a murmuring heart a treatable and preventable condition? Yes! To maintain spiritual health, we replace the whining that destroys the proper functioning of the heart with the remedy of praise and thanksgiving. However, if we do not work on our heart condition, God certainly will, using His own special type of surgery.

 

If Proverbs tells us, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Prov. 4:23 NLT), and Jesus said, “Whatever is in the heart overflows into speech” (Luke 6:45 TLB), then we need to heed those words, for “He who watches over his mouth guards his life.” (Prov. 13:3 Lynn’s Version)

 

All Israel had to do was step through the portal of thanksgiving, but their murmuring, disobedience, and impatience slammed the gate shut, barricading the entrance to God’s promise. For forty years, they lived next door to that land of milk and honey, but almost all of them never lived to set foot on it.

 

The wilderness takes its victims while they are yet wandering in their complaints. To live in the Land of Promise, you must step out of the wilderness of murmuring.

 

Does your heart pour out too much whine or pulsate with praise and thanksgiving?

 

~Lord, my prayer is this, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (Ps. 19:14 NLT)~

 

Blessings, Lynn

 

lynnmosher.com

 

Heart murmurs come in many forms. What kind do you have?  

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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It’s Always Darkest Just before Dawn

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“The night is nearly over; the day is almost here.”
-Romans 13:12

Today there is a lot of talk about the evil going on around the world. There is injustice in the courtrooms, corruption in our government, godlessness in the schools, and sexual immorality sweeping across the entire world. Looking back over the last 150 years I ask the question how did we get here? There is evil in every corner and every crevice of the world, and I can’t help but sense that people are feeling hopeless. How did we get here? Is it too late for a revival? Is this going to be the last generation to see life on this earth?

Several of the highest grossing movies over the past 10 years are all about superhero’s, and supernatural saviors coming in to save the world, or at least save New York City. It is a reoccurring theme to hear stories about evil rising up to into a position of power and then be struck down by a superhero. Although I don’t always agree with the way Hollywood portrays hope, I have to agree with them on the fact that the good guys always win.

Hope doesn’t always come during the times you want it to. The process of Jesus Christ bringing hope into the world had to go through a point of pure darkness. In fact for many of the people witnessing the crucifixion it may have looked as though Satan had won the battle once and for all. When Jesus breathed His last, it must have felt like all hope was lost.

Can you imagine what it must have felt like for the Christ followers to watch Jesus die on the cross?

I think it is our human nature to allow our circumstances to dictate our feelings. It makes sense logically– “every action has a reaction.”

Like many others you might be dreading what the future looks like for the upcoming generations. It seems like the downhill spiral has started, and has hit a point of no return. Today don’t worry about how dark the night will get, but be reminded; the day is almost here (Rom. 13:12).

I hope you are encouraged, and remember:

Everything in this world will someday fade away, but Love never ends.

Taylor Wilkins
Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Area Representative Salem Oregon

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Support Taylor Wilkins, who is now a minister through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. (FCA) His dedication to young people is being a true servant of God.

You can help him reach out to young people by going to the below link and donating to his mission:

 

 

http://willvallfca.org/taylor-wilkins

 

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You Can Dream Big at Any Age

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* 09-7-13 …Update on our new book, “Your Signs of Hope: For the Weak Days.” .

I just finished a proposal to an agent who is interested in representing me. This is exciting, and please pray that he will look at the proposal and go Wow! That is what he said he would have to say to add anymore clients.

I have done work on the preface, forward, table of contents, and appendix in my new book, “Your Signs of Hope: For the Weak Days.”

(Keep  Looking here for more updates.)

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Do you feel you are too old to accomplish your dreams? Have you decided there is no future for you?

Five times Diana Nyad tried to swim across the Atlantic Ocean from Havana, Cuba to the Coast of Florida. She first tried in 1978 and a young age. She failed to make it that time for several reasons. One being the jelly fish that stung her many times during the night when they rise to the top of the ocean. Diana tried three other times and failed each time do to storms, sharks, and other things . You would think she would get the message that she just couldn’t do it.

On September 2, 2013 she started out again for her fifth time, at the age of 64, to try to swim the 103 miles across the ocean to Florida. It didn’t seem possible for her to make it at her age.

However, 53 hours later, (That is two whole days and an extra five hours) she made it to Smathers beach, Florida, with hundreds of boats and people in the water, cheering her on.

Her face was swollen. She was sunburned , and her lips were damaged from all the salt water, but as her assistants held her she was able to speak enough to say in an interview:

” I have three things to say: Never give up! You are never too old. You can dream big at any age.”

What an inspiration to all of us who have been around to block a few times. Those of us who feel that we are done taking on new challenges should be renewed with vigor with Diana’s story.

Do you think you are past your prime, and can’t take on new tasks? Are you shutting down your dreams because you feel you can’t achieve them?

Never feel you can’t accomplish things because of your age or your circumstances. God used many people in the Bible that were much older than anyone around them. Abraham was over 100 years old before he had his first child chosen by God.

Think of those dreams you have put away in the closet and go for it. I want to read more wonderful stories like Diana Nyad. You can be that story.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And…never, ever, give up!

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Brokenness and Intimacy

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

Intimacy with God goes hand in hand with your brokenness. Your desire for intimacy with your heavenly Father will be accompanied by brokenness, as it escorts you into intimacy with eternal God. It is your date with destiny. A broken and contrite heart delivers intimacy with the Almighty. Do not despise your broken condition. Rather, delight in its opportunity for intimacy. You long to know Jesus in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering (Philippians 3:10). These prayers were not in vain. Your brokenness is answered prayer. The answer may not be exactly what you expected. You may have anticipated a smoother route, a paved road free of bumps or pot holes. But the path of a personal and intimate relationship with Christ is not always easy.

Most of the time, intimacy requires difficulty. It is at this point of pressure and discomfort that some people disembark the train of intimacy. It is much easier to talk about an intimate relationship with Christ than it is to arrive at this point through brokenness. This however, is an exercise in convenience. It is like placing a “Do not disturb” sign on the door of my life, in place of the “Clean up my room” invitation. Brokenness is inviting God to come in and cleanse your life. He stands at the door of our hearts and knocks (Revelation 3:20). When you invite Christ into your broken life, He comes in. Intimacy is then unleashed on His terms, not yours. It is only when you surrender in total desperation and total dependency on God that you experience authentic intimacy.

Intimacy with God through brokenness is not unlike what you experience in relationships with people. Hardship and brokenness are meant to allow you to grow closer to other people. A crisis will either drive you further away from someone or closer together. God’s best for you is to make you relationally stronger with one another during a season of brokenness. But brokenness is not a one-time phenomenon. It is an ongoing part of the committed Christian’s life. It’s not as if you swallow this hard pill one time and are set for a lifetime of intimacy with God. Once God has marked you with brokenness, you are positioned for Him to build on this firm foundation. He will still use mini brokenness’s throughout your life. These regular occurrences are bricks of brokenness’s connected together by the cement of his grace.

Over time, a life of brokenness’s becomes a stalwart structure of sanctification designed by God. Your brokenness is meant for your betterment. Indeed, you are much the better when you experience a defining moment of brokenness. It deserves your embrace, rather than your rejection. If you fight brokenness, you delay God’s best. You circumvent intimacy with Christ if you bypass brokenness. Focus your energies on changing yourself, not your circumstances. Christ will handle the circumstances while you adjust your attitude. A life of brokenness’s is an invitation to intimacy. His closeness and salvation are worth this time of brokenness. Don’t buck brokenness. Instead, rely on Him and get to know Him at this deeper level of intimacy. You are much better broken because brokenness leads to intimacy with God

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