This touched my Heart…

How to Keep Healthy

  1. Avoid smoking and using tobacco products
  2. Be physically active every day
  3. Eat a heart-healthy diet
  4. Maintain a healthy weight
  5. Manage your blood pressure
  6. Control your total cholesterol
  7. Keep your blood sugar healthy

According to the American Heart Association, these are the seven things that you should do to keep your physical heart healthy.

The human heart weighs less than a pound (450g). It beats 100,000 times a day and over 2.5 billion times in the average lifetime. Your system of blood vessels – arteries, veins and capillaries – is over 60,000 miles long – enough to go around the world more than twice.

This is not just an amazing spectacle; it is the ‘heart’ of human life. Without your heart your body would quickly cease to work. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the Western world.

Jesus spoke a great deal about the heart. The heart is a metaphor for the inner life. The word Jesus used means the seat of the physical, spiritual and mental life. The heart is the centre and the source of the whole inner life – thinking, feeling, and willing.

God is concerned, primarily, about your heart. He wants you to have a healthy heart. He said to Samuel, ‘The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’ (1 Samuel 16:7).

Even more important than a healthy physical heart is the condition of your spiritual heart. In the passages for today we see five key ways to keep your spiritual heart healthy.

Proverbs 6:20-29
1. Guard your heart
Jesus taught that adultery starts in the heart. He said, ‘I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart’ (Matthew 5:28). His teaching goes back to the book of Proverbs where the writer emphasises the importance of the heart – ‘do not lust in your heart’ (Proverbs 6:25).

He warns of the terrible dangers of adultery. We are dealing with something so powerful it is like a fire. In its right place (just like fire in the fireplace) sex, within marriage, is a source of great blessing.

However, if you allow your sexual desires to go in the wrong direction then it is like fire in your lap: ‘Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched? So is he who sleeps with another man’s wife’ (vv.27–29a).

Adultery does not usually just appear from nowhere. The unfaithfulness starts with the heart. This is where we have to exercise self-discipline. Take these words of wisdom and ‘bind them upon your heart’ (v.21).

Lord, help me to take your words and bind them upon my heart. When I walk, may they guide me. When I sleep, may they watch over me. When I awake, may they speak to me. May they be like a lamp and a light keeping me on the way to life. Guard my heart, Lord.

Mark 12:28-44
2. Love Jesus with your whole heart
Mark 12:28–37

There is something delightful about the teaching of Jesus: ‘The large crowd listened to him with delight’ (v.37b). If I were asked to summarise this teaching in one word, I would use the word ‘love’.

When Jesus is asked by a lawyer which of all the commandments is the most important, he replies, ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself”’ (vv.30–31). At the centre of the message of Jesus is a love relationship with the Lord your God, which starts with your heart and overflows into a love for other people.

Who is ‘the Lord’? The question underlying all this quizzing of Jesus is, ‘Who does this man think he is?’ In the temple courts, Jesus turns the tables on them by challenging their assumptions about the coming Messiah (‘the Christ’, v.35).

He asks them a question quoting Psalm 110. He challenges the idea that the Christ will simply be a king from David’s line. He will not only be a son of David, he will be David’s Lord (Mark 12:35–37a).

We now know that Jesus is ‘the Lord’. The command to love the Lord with all your heart is a command to love Jesus with all your heart. Make this the number one priority of your life.

Jesus is concerned, not with legalistic literalism, but with the spirit of the law. He is concerned not with outward appearances but with the heart.

3. Focus on your heart
Mark 12:38–40

Speaking for myself, I find that hypocrisy is always a danger in my own life. It is a temptation to be concerned about position, platforms, titles and honours. And we have to be careful about praying prayers to impress, rather than from the heart.

Jesus criticises the leaders of his day because their hearts are not right. They are far more concerned about outward appearances than about their own hearts. He says, ‘They love to walk around in academic gowns, preening in the radiance of public flattery, basking in prominent positions, sitting at the head table at every church function. And all the time they are exploiting the weak and helpless. The longer their prayers, the worse they get’ (vv.38–40, MSG).

All the things mentioned indicate their love of being shown deference and of receiving honour from other people. But God is not concerned about status and ‘show’ (v.40). He is concerned about our hearts.

4. Give from your heart
Mark 12:41–44

Jesus is not concerned about the size of your wallet. He is concerned about the size of your heart.

Jesus challenged the conventional assumption that large gifts are worth more to God than small ones. He encourages us that it is not only the rich who can please God through their giving – the poor can do so as well. He challenges the rich that it is not enough simply to give sums that greatly surpass that of the poor. Jesus was looking for generous and sacrificial hearts.

What we give, and the way in which we give, reflects our hearts. Jesus does not actually criticise the rich people who throw in large amounts of money. But he does say that the poor widow who gives ‘two very small copper coins, worth only a few pence’ (v.42) has put in more than all the others.

Jesus sees her heart and the fact that ‘this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford – she gave her all’ (vv.43–44, MSG). Others look at the outward appearance; Jesus looks at the heart. It is not the amount, but the attitude of the heart that matters to God.

Lord, help me to love you with all of my heart and with all of my soul and with all of my mind and with all of my strength. Forgive me for the times that I have been concerned about status or show, and help me to focus not on outward appearance but on the heart. Lord, help me to be generous and sacrificial in my giving. Give me a generous heart.

Leviticus 13:1-59
5. Keep your heart holy
The Old Testament laws covered every aspect of life, including cleanliness, health and hygiene. As a result, we read a great deal in the Old Testament about the kinds of regulations set out in this chapter, in addition to all the burnt offerings and sacrifices. These rules and regulations were all concerned with holiness though, and their motivation was supposed to stem from a desire to please and emulate God (Leviticus 11:44). In other words, the outward rituals were supposed to reflect the inner attitudes of the heart.

At the time of Jesus, many of the teachers were putting the emphasis in the wrong place. They thought that holiness could be attained simply by obeying a whole lot of rules that concerned outward behaviour and actions, rather than heartfelt obedience towards God.

Jesus pointed out that there is something far more important than all of this. As we see in today’s New Testament passage, ‘To love [God] with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices’ (Mark 12:33). Holiness is not a matter of outward appearance. It is a matter of the heart.

Lord, help me to guard my heart from spiritual heart disease. May we be a community of love – loving you and loving one another. Please fill my heart today with your Holy Spirit and keep my heart holy and healthy.

Pippa Adds
Mark 12:31

Jesus said ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ (Mark 12:31).
How do I look after myself? I think pretty well!

Verse of the Day
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’ (Mark 12:30).

American Heart Association, ‘Life’s Simple 7’,—Lifes-Simple-7_UCM_471453_Article.jsp#.VqvcnbSp8Rk [Last accessed January 2016]

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version Anglicised, Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 Biblica, formerly International Bible Society. Used by permission of Hodder & Stoughton Publishers, an Hachette UK company. All rights reserved. ‘NIV’ is a registered trademark of Biblica. UK trademark number 1448790.

Scripture marked (MSG) taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.



We are of the dust,
Grounded in dark soil
And the quaking of a new world;
Sighed into being by a greater wonder.

We are of the dust,
Murky and awkward
And entirely, astonishingly sacred,
Sanctified by a love beyond our wildest dreams.

We are of the dust
Yet filled with shimmering glory;
Intoxicating holiness not just pouring from heaven,
But rising up through our dirt-covered roots.

Gideon Heugh, Tearfund

Love Matters…

Good Morning ☀😊☀

“Love is a strong force — a great good in every way; it alone can make our burdens light, and alone it bears in equal balance what is pleasing and displeasing. It carries a burden and does not feel it; it makes all that is bitter taste sweet. Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing higher, nothing stronger, nothing larger, nothing more joyful, nothing fuller, nothing better in heaven or on earth; for love is born of God and can find its rest only in God above all He has created.”
(Thomas à Kempis, An Excerpt From The Imitation of Christ)


Have a great day 🙏🏽😉🙏🏽

Time to Love

The Better Way…………A Time to Love

Love is a word that has been overused, misused, bandied about, cheapened and corrupted. The mention of love assaults (and often offends) our senses from popular songs, advertising, promoting—tinkling and screaming and exhorting us from every direction. Even most dictionary definitions focus mainly on love in the sense of sexual attraction and relationship between people.

The ancient Greeks had several definitions of love. The four most commonly used are:

Eros, or sexual passion

Philia, deep friendship

Storge, love of parents, children and families

Agape, the love of God for man and man for God.

Perhaps agape love is the strongest and purest of the four, but any attempt to describe agape love will fall far short. For God’s love is vast, immeasurable, unfailing, everlasting and far beyond our human understanding. God IS love. That’s what he is made of. That’s what he is. God’s love is extended to everyone who has ever walked the face of the earth, whether they believe in him or not, whether they’re poor or rich, highly successful or dismal failures, good or bad, nice or nasty, rulers of nations or beggars in the gutter. Nothing we do will make him love us less. And nothing we can try to do will earn his love. It’s a gift and it’s free, because Jesus paid the price.

God created us and loved us from the moment of our conception and will love us to the day we die, whether we acknowledge him, mock and scorn him, deride him or deny him. He longs for us to turn to him and be born again by his spirit, and to live with him forever. And his command to us is that we love one another.

That’s easy when it’s our families, or the inspirational people we look up to, or our best friend, or the lovely people in our church. Not so easy, though, when it’s a druggie hanging around our child’s school, or the bully who made our schooldays a misery, or a dictator creating suffering for thousands, or the sarcastic boss you see every day. But still a command. For love is a powerful force, and there is no weapon against it.

‘Love Wins’ is the title of a book that has caused controversy. Whatever your viewpoint, that title speaks truth. In the end, it is only love that will remain and conquer the horrors of this present world.

Martin Luther King Jnr said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only love can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

So let’s accept the love of God in Jesus, so that we can love ourselves and love others, and in our own various ways hold back the darkness. It’s a time to love.

An excerpt



To Everything a Time


Eleanor Watkins


A mental illness is a condition in which a person’s normal thinking, behaviors and responses to surroundings or certain circumstances are impaired. Among the “anxiety disorders” is Atelophobia.

Etymologically speaking the word atelophobia is composed of two greek words; the prefix Atelo(s) means imperfect and the postfix phobia means fear. Therefore the word Atelophobia literally means they fear of being imperfect. People who have this psychological conditioned are termed as Atelophobic. Atelophobia is classified as an anxiety disorder as are most phobias and therefore it is the specialty of mental health professionals.

Atelophobia is the fear of not doing something right or the fear of not being good enough. Quite simply put it’s a fear of imperfection. Persons suffering from this psychological disorder may be often depressed when their perceived expectations do not match reality.

An atelophobic has the fear that whatever he is doing is wrong in some way. Even making a call, writing something, eating or even talking in front of others is difficult for them as they are afraid they are making some kind of error in their task. This makes that person extremely self-conscious.

The person makes a goal, which he considers as perfect. Unfortunately, that goal cannot be reached. This makes that person miserable and he loses more self-confidence, strengthening his belief that he can never do anything correct.

Consequences of Atelophobia

As a result of this mental illness, the person is unable to cope with other normal people of the society. Relationships are severely affected. When the person fails to reach his target of “perfect”, he becomes depressed. Depression itself is dangerous in its own ways.

Capabilities of Atelophobic People

Although the Atelophobic is as intelligent and as talented as other people in society, or even more, his capabilities are masked by his fear of losing. He does not compete with anyone, nor does he accept any challenge.

For instance, if he is gifted with the talent of painting, he won’t paint. If he will, he won’t show it to others because he will think it is not “perfect”. He will remake it and change it again and again, but will not be satisfied.

This fear of imperfection can inhibit them from doing anything productive at all because they are afraid that may not do it right and disappoint those around them and themselves. This phobia can be especially inhibiting in the workplace where taking initiative is sometimes the only way one can get ahead. Their Atelophobic condition leads them to avoid responsibility at all cost.

There are other types of persons who are not necessarily inhibited by this condition in the sense that they avoid responsibility but are inhibited in psycho social development. These persons fear imperfection to the degree where they obsessively ensure that each task they complete is done to their perceived degree of perfection. These are the perfectionist and neat freaks in our society. Their desire for perfection can become so obsessive to the point where they eventually develop obsessive compulsive disorders. Persons with this disorder are bombarded with intrusive thoughts of worry, fear and apprehension. They demonstrate repeated behaviour such as excessive washing or cleaning, hoarding an in general a preoccupation with most minor details.

We live in a society that defines perfection and then demands that this standard of perfection is met. If not society is quick to malign the outcast who do not meet its expectation. These artificially created standards of perfection often acts as a definitive marker for success within society and of course those who do not meet these standards are quickly branded as failures. Failure is the Atelophobic’s biggest fear. They fear being ostracized, not living up to expectations and most of all criticism.

People who are atelophobic often have an inability to relax as their mind is constantly being bombarded with thoughts of possible failure. They often suffer from insomnia which leaves them unable to sleep at night. This disorder of the mind is also often found in persons who are suffering from anorexia or bulimia. They are so obsessed with meeting society’s expectations of beauty that they literally starve themselves. This is one instance where atelophobia can be physically harmful to your health.

If you think you are suffering from this condition then it is important that you visit your psychologist so that a diagnosis can be done and later treatment. If you are diagnosed with Atelophobia your therapist may recommend anti-anxiety medication which will aid in your ability to relax. It is important to have this condition treated if you wish to have a normal life. It can not only be harmful to yourself but you can greatly depreciate the quality of life of those around you who have to deal with you on a constant basis. Its not fun for the average person to deal with people who have obsessive behaviors.

Praying for our region…

Good Morning 🙏😊🙏

We pray for those who have been devastated by recent natural disasters. We remember those who have lost their lives so suddenly. We hold in our hearts the families forever changed by grief and loss. Bring them consolation and comfort.

Surround them with our prayers for strength. Bless those who have survived and heal their memories of trauma and devastation. May they have the courage to face the long road of rebuilding ahead.
We ask your blessing on all those who have lost their homes, their livelihoods, their security and their hope. Bless the work of relief agencies and those providing emergency assistance. May their work be guided by the grace and strength that comes from You alone.

Help us to respond with generosity in prayer, in assistance, in aid to the best of our abilities. Keep our hearts focused on the needs of those affected, even after the crisis is over. We ask this in Jesus’ name,


When we go…

Good Morning ☀😉☀
Scripture stated that we brought nothing into the world, nor can we take anything out of it(1Timothy 6:7).
When we go, we leave memories with our loved ones. Make them fond memories.
When we go, we can leave a legacy behind. Make it one of honesty and integrity.
Wishing you a magnificent day 🙏😊🙏