Peace of My Heart

An encouraging voice to drown out the noise

~What is Your Heart Full Of?~ February 10, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Valerie Rutledge @ 8:47 am
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Have you ever wondered why it is so easy to talk about anything and everything except the Gospel?

I seriously loooove to talk. When I was a kid, that was the number one complaint my teachers had from Kindergarten all the way through high school. What can I say, I was blessed with the gift of gab! As an adult, I sometimes catch myself dominating conversations. I blame my lack of intelligent discussions through the day when talks consist of what Peppa will do next or fighting over why naps are a vital part of a toddlers day. But even so, talk I must. If I don’t have an audience, I talk to myself. I realize that makes me sound slap nuts and I’m cool with that.

So how is it feasible that someone who is never at a loss for words struggles to talk about God?

I can literally talk all day about parenting, health & fitness, music, books…you name it. Then someone asks me about my Jesus and even if only for a moment, I freeze! I’ve given it some thought & believe I’ve pinpointed a couple of reasons why this is the case.

1. Knowledge/Life Experience. I like to think that I am fairly knowledgeable on certain topics. I have 5 kids which equates lots of hands on parenting experience. I’ve been a runner for some time now and I coach so again, pretty confident in this area. I’ve dealt with a whole mess of heartache in my 33 years and I’ve made it through to the other side which helps me talk others through similar situations.

2. Time Invested. I didn’t become the mom, wife, coach, friend that I am today overnight. There have been many sleepless nights finding out what works to soothe a teething infant. Countless articles have been read and methods tested to find the best way to avoid shin splints and how to surge up a hill when your competitors are losing steam. We’ve had our share of counseling in our years of parenting & marriage that has given us the tools not only to strengthen our family, but help others strengthen theirs as well.

These things together give me confidence to talk openly to anyone at any time. Perhaps if we wish to talk with ease and boldness when it comes the Lord, we should apply this same formula.

“For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Luke 6:45 NIV)

Get into His Word. Get to know who God is and what He has to say about all of life’s idiosyncrasies. Look back on your life at the times He has moved on your behalf and use that to show others if He did it then, He can do it now.

“Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt 28:19-20 NLT)prov 4

In order to fulfill the Great Commission, we need to be so familiar with the Word of God that telling others about it is a natural as breathing. We do that by sharing often. The more time you spend talking to God and about Him, the easier it will become. It won’t feel like you are “preaching” at people when you talk about Him as the loving father He is as opposed to an ethereal being no one can relate to.


~Face to phone screen~ January 7, 2014

Like most cultural changes, I am sure it hasn’t escaped your attention that people prefer texting to talking, email over handwritten notes and tossing someone a gift card as opposed to a heartfelt, personal gift.  Is anyone else worried that we are rapidly losing our human connection?  It seems that the more we take advantage of these modern conveniences, the more desensitized we become.

Face to face conversations have been replaced with face to screen time.  I myself have been guilty of addressing issues with my husband via text because I didn’t want to deal with it in person.  I convinced myself I was saving us an argument by typing out my feelings because then I could edit what I said.  But that’s unhealthy and it certainly isn’t biblical.

What about when people take their conflicts to social media for all the world to see?  What exactly could you hope to gain by belittling one another in an open forum that allows others to jump into a conflict that’s not their own?  What I find amusing is that most of what people say online are things they wouldn’t dare say in person.  Just because you are letting your fingers do the talking doesn’t make your words less offensive.  You are still held accountable for what you say, whether you say it with your lips or your rapid firing fingertips as they fly across the keys.

How are we to handle conflict when it does arise, and it certainly will in healthy relationships?  My advice would be to turn to the words of Matthew 18: (please keep in my mind this is referring to our relationships with fellow believers)

“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.” (verse 15)

Our initial reaction when someone hurts us is to tell someone else about it, then we can have someone validate our feelings & “take our side” in the conflict.  However, our first response should be to speak to the one who upset us.  When we go directly to the offender, chances are we will be able to quickly resolve our differences without need for a mediator because most people respect others who are able to communicate honestly.

What happens when you try the direct approach and it isn’t received too graciously?

“But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses.” (verse 16)

Note that it doesn’t say rally the troops and turn it into “he said, she said” debate.  If you find yourself in the midst of an argument where one-on-one communication is no longer effective or constructive, it may be a good idea to seek godly counsel.  Agree on a neutral party who can speak wisdom into the situation without taking sides.  It may be someone from your pastoral staff, a friend whom you both respect or in some cases you may need to seek counsel from a professional.  The point is, if you are unable to hash out your grievances amongst yourselves, the next avenue needs to be seeking wise counsel, not ranting to anyone and everyone who will listen to build your case.

As you go through your day, if you find yourself tempted to ‘post’ about your problems, try this approach first.  Don’t succumb to the pull of social media to do your dirty work for you.  Human contact will always trump social media.  You will choose your words more wisely in person than you would sitting behind the safety of an illuminated screen.  And the person who has your panties in a twist will respond more rationally if you are “man enough” to speak to them as opposed to about them.

social media fight


~Why Do I Write?~ July 11, 2013

Is it because I think I know so much more than others?  Am I trying to make people feel bad about themselves?  Maybe I write so that I can pass judgment on everyone from behind the safety of my computer screen?

I have had to seriously ask myself the title question here lately because I’ve hit a lull.  I’ve lost some umph and I can’t quite pinpoint why.  So, I’ve thought about it and the answer I have come up with is the Great Commission:

“Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

(Matthew 28:18-20 NLT)

I write the things I do in hopes that it will shed some light on how Jesus wants us to live.  I feel like we’ve been given an incredible gift in the Bible as it gives instruction for life’s complexities, encouragement when we’ve lost our will to go on, and hope when the world around us offers nothing more than brokenness.  But not everyone picks up their Bible and digs into the words looking for answers to their questions.  Some people may feel intimidated by the Book itself or unsure how to navigate it’s MANY pages.  Others still may not have a wonderful church family to help guide them onto the right path and they’re desperately seeking someone to give them some direction.  So I write; about real life experiences that I think are relatable to most.  I speak simply and truthfully so as not to confuse my readers and to be honest, myself!

Each day we are faced with countless opportunities to choose what’s right.  We are also presented with an equal number of opportunities to choose what is wrong.  But how do we know what is right and what is wrong?  I personally believe in the power of conviction that is felt by way of the Holy Spirit.  I know when I’ve made a decision that doesn’t line up with the Word of God.  When I allow myself time to think before I act then I can usually get a good sense for what my response to any given circumstance should be.

What about people who are not saved and don’t yet have the guidance of the Holy Spirit?  How are they to determine if their actions are pleasing to the Lord?  This is why I share my stories.   So that others facing the same situations will know they are not alone.  I give advice according to God’s Word, not my own flighty opinions.  I put my own insecurities aside and spill my guts all so that someone may come to know Jesus.  Because to me, even one soul is worth it.great commission