Keep the Heart

Bible studies on the issues of life.

Overcoming Image Issues

April 19th, 2021

"You should get your eyebrows done." When someone said that to me after a conference, it made me wonder if that was her only takeaway from a weekend of Bible application lessons...and it also sent me in search of a mirror. If someone makes a questionable comment about your physical appearance, do keep replaying the comment in your mind? Image issues can cause us to get stuck like that.

Who told women that they need "perfect eyebrows"? Clever marketing companies continue to create imaginary shortcomings, and then of course they’ll sell us the solutions. "Cover that gray hair. We'll sell you the dye every six weeks. Here's the face cream for those no-no-gotta-go wrinkles. Get a flat stomach with buns of steel by using our exercise program, and we’ll throw in a digital home scale that syncs to your cellphone and keeps you obsessed with your weight." 

God has much more purpose for us than just competing to look the best until death. Image issues are common, but we're not stuck with them. This episode offers practical tips for finding freedom from image issues. 

Ponder the Path 31-Day Devotional

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When an Adult Child is Struggling

April 14th, 2021

“Mom and Dad, I need to talk to you.” This is a generic version of the statement parents may hear before an adult child shares news that feels like a bomb dropped. Sometimes you see warning signs. Other times, you’re broadsided and wondering what just happened. The grief and heartache that often follows is a normal response to loss. It’s normal but not permanent. It’s never a good idea to stay stuck in a negative thought loop about our own children. God can show us how to walk this out.

This is another Bonus Episode in our podcast lineup. Since most of the episodes will be for a general audience of women across many stages, occasionally we will do a breakout session to address a specific issue. The topic of facing hardships with adult children is one that comes up repeatedly in email requests. We hope that this capsulized episode will give you some points to ponder.

ICU--In Christ Unconditionally: Heart Conditions Bible Application Study

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The Consistent Friend

April 12th, 2021

Are your friendships high maintenance? Is someone upset with you because of a small thing and you’re stressed out about it? Do you wonder sometimes about the people you’ve allowed into your close inner circle? When our friendships become thorny burdens, we need to give those friendships a checkup. Something is unhealthy somewhere. This episode covers five ideas for building consistent friendships.

Sister Friends book

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Are We Anything Like Judas?

April 5th, 2021

Imagine having a friend who would steal money from you, share your private information with people who hated you, and take a bribe to have you killed. Jesus had a friend like that, and his name was Judas. It’s really easy to paint Judas as the ultimate villain, but are we anything like Judas?

It’s so much easier to point out the faults of others than it is to recognize the flaws in ourselves. Judas had certain traits that are common to those who are disregarding God. This episode takes a brief look at three things about Judas that can double as a personal examination. 

ICU--In Christ Unconditionally: Heart Conditions Bible Application Study

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Behaviors that Build Relationships

March 29th, 2021

Have you ever offended someone without realizing it? What’s your response to a situation like that? Do you apologize once you're made aware of the situation, or do you get defensive and blame the offended person for being "thin-skinned"? Your response can make a difference or it could make a bigger mess.

Relationships are gifts, but we tend to appreciate people the most when they’re gone. It doesn’t have to be like that. We can cherish and treasure our relationships now. This episode covers four helpful behaviors for building better relationships. 

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Ponder the Path 31-Day Devotional

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Five Practices for Overcoming Insecurity

March 22nd, 2021

Are we doomed to be insecure until we’re too old to remember how to spell the word? No. Insecurity is not a life sentence. It's an opportunity to examine ourselves for faulty thinking, allowing us to replace the false with the truth. Insecurity is really just a lack of self-confidence paired with an overdose of self-doubt, which is not entirely bad. We need more confidence, but in God and not in self. God-confidence is rooted and grounded in how He sees us rather than how we view ourselves.

Whether it’s pretending to be humble or trying to be the center of attention, pride is the driver of insecurity.

Are we doomed to be insecure until we’re too old to remember how to spell the word? No. Insecurity is not a life sentence. It's an opportunity to examine ourselves for faulty thinking, allowing us to replace the false with the truth. Insecurity is really just a lack of self-confidence paired with an overdose of self-doubt, which is not entirely bad. We need more confidence, but in God and not in self. God-confidence is rooted and grounded in how He sees us rather than how we view ourselves.

Insecurity often causes us to say and do things to elevate self, but no matter what we do, it's never enough. Whether it’s pretending to be humble or endlessly seeking attention, pride is the driver of insecurity. This episode covers five practices that we can apply to begin the process of overcoming insecurity. Share this podcast with family and friends!

ICU--In Christ Unconditionally: Heart Conditions Bible Application Study

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Inserting Calm into Daily Pressures

March 15th, 2021

What does it take for you to jump to the irritated default mode? Getting stuck in traffic when you’re already running late? New policy changes at work? A last-minute change in plans that you don’t like? Even those who are usually very tranquil have things that can push them beyond their emotionally calm boundaries.

Life can be stressful and pressures may pile up, but we don’t have to live with the heat turned on high all the time. There can be calm inserted into the daily pressures, because not all pressures are big deals. This episode covers three encouraging practices that we can begin applying right away. High-strung is not a life sentence; it's a changeable habit.

Calm in Christ ebook

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Dumb Things I Did as a Newlywed

March 10th, 2021

BONUS EPISODE: It's great to have a wonderful marriage, but married life is not wonderful all day, every day. In fact, many have experienced some rough waters along the way. Married people have to work hard at learning how to love and care for one another as God designed it. In this bonus episode, I'm sharing some of the mistakes I made as a newlywed. People may learn from success, but failure is educational, too. Grab a beverage and settle into a comfy chair for this "NOT TO DO" list.

1 John 3:18 reminds us how to love: "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth." Married life is a vapor.

Most episodes on Keep the Heart will cover the "issues of life" affecting a general audience, but occasionally we'll do a bonus episode that is more like a breakout session. This one is for wives or soon-to-be wives. 

Rough Patches: Navigating Marital Hard Spots eBook

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Don’t Correct a Scorner

March 8th, 2021

The scene is familiar. Someone you love is living in a way that is unstable, so you attempt to correct them with instructions that seem logical to you. The conversation ends in painful frustration. What went wrong?

You tried to reprove a scorner.

The biblical guideline for reproving a scorner can be summed up in a word: Don’t. There’s drama ahead if we try to instruct someone who lives by the motto, “Don’t tell me what to do.”

Francie walks through key verses about dealing with a scorner from a loving and biblical perspective. If you have someone in your life who is actively choosing to walk contrary to Scripture, this episode will help you to handle matters wisely rather than making things worse. The deeper the problems, the greater the miracles. 

Abbreviated in the blog--"Don't Tell Me What to Do"

Ponder the Path 31-Day Devotional

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Self-Control Exercises

March 1st, 2021

Have you ever told yourself that you couldn’t eat a certain food for a time, and then you’d go and eat more of it than ever? Or have you ever tried to hold back from losing your temper and then you let loose and exploded like a cannon? Or maybe you’ve experienced the runaway tongue that blurted out something that should have been edited before it was spoken? These examples are all related to a lack of self-control, also known in the Bible as temperance.

Self-control is unnatural, but it can be gained through training. God wants us to have this fruit of the Spirit, and so He trains us through exercises that he allows into our lives. This episode covers some exercises we can practice to cultivate the fruit of temperance. 

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ICU: In Christ Unconditionally--Heart Conditions Bible Study

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