Tag Archives: soul

Homesick


Have you ever been homesick? Or maybe you’ve been traveling or have been out and about, and just wanted to get home. Home is where we relax, unwind, and rid ourselves of our cares. It’s where we dress down and are our most true selves. It’s the place that smells the most familiar to us, and it’s where we truly rest. They even say that home is where the heart is. I think Dorthy had it right, there’s no place like home!

I recently went through “How’s Your Soul?” by Judah Smith. One of his first points is that while we are good at having that place called home for ourselves, our soul is looking for home as well. When God created man, he was loveless until God breathed into his nostrils. Judah says that our soul is really borrowed breath from God, and that it finds its home when we use that breath to praise God. That’s why worshiping God makes our soul feel the way it does. It’s when our soul gets to be home.

Think about David for a minute. He was chased by Saul for years. He lived in caves in one of the most inhospitable places on earth. If you’ve read the Psalms, you know that man was homesick both physically and spiritually. He longed for the courts of the Lord as much as he longed for being home. He even said that it was better to spend one day in God’s house than thousands elsewhere (Psalm 84:10). Why? Because that’s where his soul was at home. Even if he couldn’t physically be home, he wanted to have his soul at home.

I believe all of us are the same way. Our soul longs to be home. I think we misinterpret the signals inside a lot of times, especially if our soul has never been home. In Psalm 90:1, David wrote, “Lord, through all the generations you have been our home!” (NLT) If your soul is homesick, God is where you’ll find the peace you’re looking for. In Him is where you will find your truest self, and that place where you can rest. You don’t have to be homesick anymore. Spend time with God worshipping Him and loving Him today and let your soul be at home.

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Feed Your Soul


If you were to ask my friends, they would describe me as a foodie. I live to eat. I don’t just consume food just because my body needs it. I spend lots of time researching and looking for great tasting food. I read reviews, look at menus, watch videos, check different websites, ask locals and use a variety of apps before I go out to eat. I like to say, “You only get to eat three times a day. You need to enjoy it.”

Whether you’re like me or you just eat to live, we all have to eat if we want to stay alive. Without food, our body begins to consume itself until we die. Food is a necessity if we want to live. The same goes for our soul. It needs to be fed in order to stay healthy, but the food it eats isn’t physical. Ecclesiastes 6:7 says, “We work to feed our appetites; Meanwhile our souls go hungry” (MSG).

So what do we feed our souls? In Matthew 5:6 Jesus said, “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.” I believe our souls are fed when we spend time with God. They are recharged and are given strength when we take time each day to spend quiet time alone with God. Remember the Psalmist said, “O taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8)

We wouldn’t miss a meal for our physical body. Why do we miss them for our spiritual one? Only one will last forever. We need to take time each day to feed it good food to make it healthy. It’s not good for us to have our soul go hungry. Every meal you feed it doesn’t have to be Instagram worthy just like every meal you feed your physical body doesn’t. Your soul lives to eat. Why not feed it as often as you can? A full soul has the potential to be a productive one.

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Love With All Your Soul

And you must love The Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength. – Mark 12:30

If loving God with all your heart was about being passionate again in your relationship with Him, then loving Him with all your soul is about loving Him with who you are. I looked up the Greek word “soul” used in this scripture to help give context and the word was “psyche”. It includes your conscious and subconscious self. I believe Jesus was telling us that our love for Him should permeate our entire being. It should be second nature to us.

I’m reminded of the woman who came and wept at Jesus’ feet and then dried them with her hair. People were watching in shock as she did it. They couldn’t believe Jesus was allowing this sinful woman to touch Him. He turned to them in Luke 7: 44-47 and told them that they had not offered him water for His feet nor greeted Him with a kiss. He then made the point that the person who is forgiven most, loves most and whoever has been forgiven little loves little.

When Jesus comes into our lives and forgives us of sins we have committed, it should change who we are and how we love. II Corinthians 5:17 tells us that anyone who belongs to Christ becomes a new person. Our old life is gone and a new life begins. The extent to which we realize what we’ve been saved from is how much we will love God with who we are. If Christ has forgiven us, then He has saved us from the same fate no matter how big or how small our sins were. We should love Him unconditionally based on that, but Jesus made a point to show that the size of our debt has to do with the size of our love.

Many of us have been forgiven for a great deal of sin. Some of us have been forgiven a small amount if sin. Either way, we have all sinned and were condemned to hell. Now that we have been forgiven, how do we express that love with who we are? Have we let that forgiveness come into our psyche and change us as a person? Have we become a new person that is different from the old one? God doesn’t just want our passion, He wants who we are to love Him. He wants our love for Him to emanate from our very being.

Letting His love change our psyche means we have to let go of the past that is tied to our old psyche. You can’t change what you’ve done in the past, but you can let Him forgive you of it and you can forgive yourself for it. When you’ve learned to do that, you will see that who you are will begin to change. You will become more like He is and grow into the person He wants you to become. Let go of the old life today. Embrace the new life He is giving you and love Him with who you are. That’s loving God with all your soul.

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An Uncontrollable Fire

There are some lyrics to a song we sing at church that keep burning inside me. They say, “Set a fire down in my soul that I can’t contain and I can’t control. I want more of you, God.” We had sang that song at church many times before, but on a balcony in Haiti, it became my prayer. As we were having a time of worship in Gonaives, we sang that song and I started listening to the words. I began to internalize what they meant. I began to sing the song with more of a passion than a compulsion.

What does that look like to have a fire set in your soul? What does that feel like to have it burn without being able to control it? What would happen to me if I truly wanted more of God in my life? Do I really, truly want that and what is the cost? We sing songs and read scriptures a lot without giving much thought to the words we are saying or reading. We rarely dig down deep and plant those words in our heart and mind.

A fire that burns uncontrollably takes out what it wants whereas a controlled burn only takes out what I want. Have I given God real control in my life to take out the things He wants to or do I have protected areas that I’ve not let Him touch because I’ve tried the control burn method? If I truly believe that my life is not my own, why do I try to control what God can and cannot do in my life? Why do I fight to keep the things I want instead of taking the things I need from Him?

It’s a struggle that many of us fight. We want to be used by God. We want to give Him our lives. We want to trust Him. Our actions show differently though. Our mouths say one thing, but our actions show something completely different. I don’t want that. I’m not content with that. I can’t be, not if I’m praying that He will set a fire in my soul. Not if I’m willing to let that fire burn out of my control. Not if I want more of Him. Not if He wants more of me.

God gives Himself to us to the extent that we allow room for Him. Too many Christians are like the inn keeper in Bethlehem. They have no room for Him, but they want Him, so they put Him in the stable of their lives. He doesn’t just want to be in your stable. He wants the entire inn of your life. He wants to come into every room you have locked up. He wants to fill you up, but He will go where you put Him. Are you only offering Him a room in the stable?

For me, I want more of Him than I have today. I want to give Him the keys to my inn. I want to kick out the guests of control, security, lack of faith and fear. I want to give Him those rooms in my life too. I want Him to set a fire in my life to burn the things He wants to burn. I want Him to use that fire to purify me, to cleanse me and to make me who He wants me to be. Will it hurt? Probably. Will it be easy to do? No. Will it be worth it? Absolutely!

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Why

This is a guest post from Mandy Reiszner. She is Vice President of Coreluv International. Their mission is to defend the orphan. You can follow her blog here.

As I sat here pondering about what to write about, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Actually it was more like a punch of empathy and compassion to the gut. A punch that sparks such emotion you literally feel like buckling over onto the floor only to cry out, “WHY?” WHY are there so many orphans, so much poverty, so few resources, so many deaths? In my comfortable little life in America such emotion rarely brushes over me, but it’s here in Haiti where I realize my own great need to become better acquainted with the REST of the world. You see my life IS the minority. At least 80% of the worlds population lives on less than ten dollars a day and almost half of the world on less than two dollars and fifty cents a day. America makes up only 5% of the worlds population. IT’S GOOD to leave Kansas every once in a while!

I had the incredible privilege this past week to spend some good, quality time with the children from the Coreluv Orphanage in Gonaives, Haiti. It was a trip that Mike and I really enjoyed. At one point we found ourselves laying down in the shade with two orphans resting peacefully across our chests. In that moment I could sense the love of the Father. Oh what beauty it is just to rest in God and know that we are loved!

The more I come here, I realize the more I no longer have an excuse to turn a deaf ear to the poor. It’s not that I ever did it intentionally, but rather because I never knew THEY existed. You see I live in the OTHER direction. Does that make me despise that I’m from America? Of course not, but I look upon my life through a whole different set of lenses now. Ones that bring clarity to the fact that just maybe I was born in America to be able to help those who may not be as blessed as I am. I love this line from Mumford and Sons’ song “Awake my Soul”:

“In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die. And where you invest your love, you invest your life.”

I am reminded of Christ and his willingness to serve those He loved. This Last week was a good awakening for me and a much needed time of reflection upon WHY we do what we do!

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Knocked Down, but Not Out

A few years ago, life knocked me down. It took the wind out of me when it did. It was hard to do things that were once normal. Everything took effort. An effort that I didn’t have the strength to give. Sometimes just breathing took every ounce of energy I had. It was a tough place to be. I was lying flat on my back wondering how to go on, if I should go on. The easiest thing to do was to give up and stay down.

Have you ever been there? Maybe you’re there now. Sometimes life throws some pretty hard hits. It doesn’t seem fair how, why or when things come our way to knock us down and off the path we were on. You didn’t ask for it or deserve it, but it happened anyway. You have to make some pretty tough choices when you’ve been knocked down. Life changing choices.

Here are some choices I made that helped me.

1. Don’t lose heart

The first thing you want to do is to give up. That’s because that’s the easiest choice, but it’s not the right choice. When the wind is knocked out of you, it gets hard to breathe. Life comes crashing down on you and you’re left wondering if you have anything left. You do. It’s in these times that you have to reach down inside you and find who you really are.

In John 14:1, Jesus told the disciples not to lose heart. He told them to believe in and to rely on Him. When we get knocked down, it is a chance for our faith to grow. When you can’t rely on anyone else, rely on God. He’s the one who is there with you even when you can’t see Him. He’s there to give you heart and strength to move on from where you think you will be forever.

2. Stand back up

One of the hardest things to do when you’ve been knocked down is to stand back up. You may not feel like you have the strength to do it, but you do. It’s inside you. You just have to dig deep to find it. Standing back up is an act of courage. It tells life that it may knock you down, but you will not be counted out. You are here to fight. You are here o win.

Proverbs 24:16 says even if you are knocked down 7 times, the godly get back up. No matter how many times you get knocked down, get up one more time. You are able to do it and each time you get up, you are stronger for it. I kept telling myself, ” What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. If I can survive this, I can survive anything.” You can survive this, but you gotta get back up!

3. Move forward

It’s not enough just to stand back up though. You have to take a step forward even if you don’t know what way “forward” is. Staying still can’t be an option. Where you were is where you were knocked down. You have to move past that area of your life o you can recover. There is hope, there is help and there is healing; but you must move forward to get it.

Philippians 3:14 and 4:13 are your new best friends. Read them, repeat them and cling to them. They say, “I press on toward the goal” and “I can do all things through Christ.” Your goal right now is to press on (forward). You can do it by the power and strength of Jesus. Your faith is what will carry you on. Find someone who can help along the way. You are not supposed to do this alone. They may not understand what you’ve been through, but that’s ok. They have the strength you need to move forward.

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Getting peace in your body, mind and soul

I had the privilege several years ago to be able to visit Israel. I traveled all over the country visiting different sites and cities. In each place, I would stop and read from the Bible different passages of scripture that happened in each location. When I would do that, the scripture really became alive to me.

One of the places I visited that made a huge impact on me was the Mount of the Beatitudes. As I sat there reading Matthew 5, I felt this overwhelming sense of peace over me. It was unlike any other peace I had ever felt. My mind, body and spirit were all calm at once. It was amazing.

Scripture tells us that we can have that kind of peace between the three parts.

1. Peace in your mind

This is probably the most desired peace among people. We are caught up in a world that is fast paced and where debts are high. Our minds have so much information to process in such a short period of time that worry quickly sets in. Even through all of that, God wants your mind to have peace.

In John 14:27, Jesus said to not let our hearts be troubled and to stop letting ourselves to get agitated and disturbed because He was leaving His peace with us. When we don’t accept that peace, we allow ourselves to be agitated and disturbed with all the other thoughts that consume us. Put away those thoughts and accept the peace He gave you.

2. Peace in your body

Our bodies can easily grow weary. The days of 9-5 work are over. We now work sun up to sun down and then try to get the kids to practice or to games. We have friendships and relationships that we are also trying to maintain. Our bodies suffer from fatigue and often get sick as a result.

When Jesus healed people, He often told them to go in peace. Through the healing, He was also offering peace to their bodies that had been suffering. Scripture also says that God will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on the Lord. Peace in your mind will lead to peace in your body.

3. Peace in your soul

C. S. Lewis once said that we are not a body with a soul, but a soul with a body. Our soul is who we are. It is what this shell of flesh is around and what will live for eternity. A lot of people live in fear of not knowing where their soul will go once this body dies. When that fear is present, you do not have peace in your inner man. That lack of peace then translates to the rest of your being and then life.

Philippians 4:7 says that God’s peace shall be yours. That peace is a tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ. We can rest assured in our souls once we accept Christ as our savior we have that life. 1 John 5:12,13 say that whoever has the Son has life… I have written these things that you may know you have eternal life. Your soul can have that peace that it needs as well.

No matter what part of you needs peace, you can find it in Jesus. It takes us receiving it though which means we have to push out other things that are preventing it. God’s desire for you is that you have peace in your body, mind and soul. Pray for and accept that peace today and watch how your life changes.

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