pebbles to ponder: keep heart


“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Prov. 4:23)

When darting between the need to make collective decisions and the need to take time for revisions in which Spirit life can emerge, misunderstanding and tension filled strife can easily surface among those with whom you live and serve.

Keep heart … guard your heart.

When starting up ways to feed spiritual growth in the midst of pressing practical concerns related to your ministry, demanding internal and external pressures to balance the two can jettison themselves into the mix and fix unnecessary competition and battle lines of prioritization.

Keep heart … guard your heart.

When charting new directions in step with a quickly changing context while dealing with the discomfort this may place on those who’ve known a different way for o so long, you may be faced with a reprimanding spirit, an expanding chasm between opposing views, a disbanding of willingness to keep the unity of the Spirit in humble submission to one another out of reverence for Christ and his greater mission in the world.

Keep heart … guard your heart.

Pebbles only become completely smooth after remaining in flowing water over a long course of time.  Keeping and guarding our hearts in the fullness of his love when the rushing waters of diverse agendas bear down upon us provides us with a riverbed of grace where the Spirit is able to slowly wear off the rough edges of our own ego needs and let them wash away.  Here we come to hear only the bubbling sounds of life at work in and around us inviting us to know Christ more intimately and intimating hope that all things work together for good.

Come, let him wash you in love.

“Lord, when leadership places us in swirling currents of current congregational conversations which tumble us back and forth between differing perspectives and dampen our spirits, when harsh words rush to impose personal aspirations and we lose our breath under waters of power based assault, when communication threatens to break down in the roar of competing wills, give us grace to be embedded in the Spirit’s invitation to shape us into smooth pebbles of his love tripping up old patterns and redirecting the flow of our faith communities towards becoming ever greater channels of blessing.  

For the one losing heart this day, worn down by the relentless movement of challenges buffeting their souls, and for the one tempted to give in to issues of the heart which move them towards protecting ego domain rather than remain under the refining inner work of bearing the cross in love, may you encourage them with a glimpse of the beauty being shaped in them by your Spirit as they choose to be pebbles of your gracious love day by day.   Amen.”

2 thoughts on “pebbles to ponder: keep heart

  1. Hi Marilyn:
    I can certainly relate to having to be one of those pebbles. I feel the waters swirling around me all the time, and often don’t perceive them as gracious. Of course, it’s all in our spiritual perception. As I read about the pebbles, it struck me that Proverbs 4:23 speaks loudest to me in terms of the messages I give myself.

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