Those of you who follow my blog or attend our weekly Bible study have probably heard about my new book which has launched, Tell Your Heart to Beat Again. So many women come up to me and tell me how they are stressed and over-committed and they want to declutter their lives. That is why I wrote this book — to encourage women to be overwhelmed by God and not be overwhelmed by the world.
Today I want to share with you a little more about the heart (no pun intended) behind the book. Below is an excerpt from the book’s introduction where you’ll read more about why I wrote this book. I also encourage you to also follow our Facebook page where we’ll soon be sharing a podcast interview I had the opportunity to do with Lindsay Roberts, host of the television program Make Your Day Count, about the book.
Beloved friends, it is time to tell our hearts to beat again. The body of Christ is weary and battle worn. The church has been lulled to sleep from pure exhaustion and discouragement and needs to be resuscitated.
I have been in ministry for thirty years, and I see an awakening in the body of Christ. I see a picture of the church yawning as if awakening from a long winter’s nap. And while we napped, the world changed. I believe that the church is returning to its first love, awakening to the profound truth that while we were yet sinners—messy, complicated, untrusting, and unloving—God sent His Son to die for us. His radical love is awakening us. The truth of His Word is causing us to rise up, embracing His love and carrying it out to a lost, broken, and dark world.
Both my father and husband are cardiologists. As I thought about the state of the church today, I began to see a lot of parallels between the health of the church and the health of the human heart. If we ignore our physical health whether through poor diet, inactivity, or excessive stress, our physical health suffers. So too if we ignore the vital practice of drawing near to God and abiding in Him, our spiritual lives suffer. We are missing the life of Christ, the compelling love of God that the world so desperately needs.
It is time for the church to wake up, rise up, and grow up in His Word. We have flat lined, and our hearts have lost hope and become discouraged. We’ve been lulled to sleep, but it’s now time to hear a new song in our hearts. We are not called to be settlers. We are called to be pioneers, joining the saints who went before us, carrying the torch of hope to the world.
One of the issues we face as we awaken is our need to de-clutter our lives. We must make space for God to be our first love, our first priority. We are too busy, stressed, always pressed for time. What has overtaken your life?
I liken what has happened to the church to a loaded potato. Over the years the baked potato has undergone quite a transition, from a simple baked tuber to what is now known as the “fully loaded potato.” To be “fully loaded” requires adding ingredients to the potato–sour cream, chives, cheese, bacon, and anything else you can think of that would enhance the flavor. The problem is that sometimes if we add too much, rather than enhancing the flavor of the potato, we camouflage the flavor. The original taste and texture of the potato becomes lost in the barrage of ingredients competing for the attention of our taste buds. As I pondered writing this book, I realized that our Christian lives could become like the overloaded potato. The original flavor or authenticity of the life of Christ in us becomes lost in the muddle of activity and pressure of life. What if you were to order a loaded potato and say, “Loaded potato, please—but hold the potato?” We would be left with the accessories but not the core ingredient. We can make the same mistake in the Christian life: “Give me Jesus plus—perfect relationships, more money, more time, more joy, less fear and anxiety.” What happened to simply “Give me Jesus”? He is the main ingredient, the One who is the Source of life, hope, peace, and joy. But we ask for the potato, only hold the potato.
To read more, you can purchase the full book on our website, on Amazon or in the Drawing Near to God office. Would love to hear your thoughts either via a comment here on the blog or an Amazon review, too!
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