Keep the Heart

Life has issues, and the Bible has the answers.
Francie Taylor teaches the relevance of
Scripture to daily life through these brief
Bible application studies.

Season 2 Trailer for Plate Spinners

January 13th, 2022

TRAILER 2022: Welcome to Season Two of the podcast at Keep the Heart. This episode is a brief introduction to the podcast. Regular episodes for Season Two will begin on January 18, 2022. New listeners, welcome to the table! Returning listeners, we're so grateful for your continued support. 

Have you ever seen the plate spinner in a circus routine? He or she starts spinning the plates on these tall sticks, one by one until there’s a whole row of spinning plates. The plate spinner then dashes back to the beginning of the plates, spinning each one to keep them from falling. Some of you are out there spinning the plates, trying to keep everything together. We get it! We know how busy you are. Raising children or living in the "sandwich generation" of raising children while caring for elderly parents. Facing drama and walking on egg shells in a volatile work culture. Family issues. Financial challenges. Health issues... add your issue and we have a potluck stew of busy on multiple levels!

Because of the warp-speed pace of life, episodes at Keep the Heart will continue to be 15 minutes or less. In that time, you will receive a lesson written with a goal of inspiring listeners to follow God and walk in His ways. And just like last season, these episodes will be brief but packed with principles that you can apply right away. We encourage you to bring a journal or something for taking notes, as we've been told by our listeners that they review the lessons from these episodes multiple times. Other listeners take this podcast with them on their daily walks. Whatever your listening style, we will provide inspiring lessons in small but loaded packages.

Podcast subscribers are the first to know when a new episode has launched, so if you want to be in the know, subscribe today! We will continue the mission found in Proverbs 4:23, which says this: "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." Please subscribe, share this with your friends, and support the podcast though a purchase or a donation in the shop at keeptheheart.com. Most of all, we greatly appreciate your prayers as we continue to create podcast episodes, books, and Bible studies designed to encourage living God’s Word.

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1st Place of 2021: Recovering from Spiritual Dryness

January 10th, 2022

BONUS EPISODE: Welcome to the Best of Keep the Heart from 2021. This podcast was launched on January 21, 2021 in the studio of Faith Music Radio, where I went through a week of intensive training with veteran radio hosts Dan and Janice Wolfe. They are a gifted dynamic duo, running a media consulting business and ministry at the same time. Both Dan and Janice have their own shows on Faith Music Radio, and Dan is also the Vice President and General Manager of the radio station while Janice has a thriving podcast here. Once I arrived in Evansville for "podcast boot camp," I was told that I wasn’t going home until I had an episode on the air! A huge shout out of THANKS to Dan and Janice Wolfe and Faith Music Radio!

Today you’ll hear the first most-downloaded episode of 2021: “Recovering from Spiritual Dryness.”

I can’t help but wonder if this episode resonated with so many because of the pandemic. After all, we were shut out of church for a season, and then we realized that there were some things that were very robotic about our attempts to worship the Lord. Revival is often born during times of trial. “Recovering from Spiritual Dryness” shared three indicators that we may be spiritually thirsty, along with suggestions for recovering from this temporary condition. Here’s your first-place episode from 2021!

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2nd Place of 2021: Escaping the Bondage of Self-Indulgence

January 3rd, 2022

BONUS EPISODE: Welcome back to the Best of Keep the Heart from 2021! Thank you for listening and for continuing to tune in while we’re on break. Season Two begins with a new episode on Tuesday, January 18th of 2022. Wow, 2021 was a vapor! Today you’ll hear the SECOND most-downloaded episode of 2021: “Escaping the Bondage of Self-Indulgence.” It was totally unplanned for this episode to land on the first spot for 2022, when many people are thinking about personal improvements. Coincidence? No. "God-incidence."

If you missed this episode when it first aired in September 2021, you'll hear why it resonated with so many listeners. Self-indulgence is a natural battle. As I’ll mention in the opening, we’re all unique and while we may have common struggles, God can put His finger on our weaknesses and help us to overcome them by His power and might, not by our own. Here comes the refresher on “Escaping the Bondage of Self-Indulgence”! This is better than a New Year’s resolution. God can give us a New Life transformation, which is way better!

Welcome to the new listeners, and a big thank you to the returning listeners. Thank you for sharing this podcast with your friends!

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3rd Place of 2021: Signs of a Controlling Person

December 27th, 2021

BONUS EPISODE: Welcome to the Best of Keep the Heart from 2021. The first episode of our new podcast aired on January 21, 2021. As of December 21, 2021, Keep the Heart has had over 170,000 downloads, totally astounding this newbie podcaster! Thank you for listening, and for referring us to your loved ones as well.

Three episodes rose to the top out of 52 main episodes. Today you’ll hear the THIRD most-downloaded episode of 2021: “Signs of a Controlling Person.” It was a close contest. This episode only missed second place by two downloads!

If you haven't heard this yet, you can catch it now! If you heard “Signs of a Controlling Person” back in July of 2021, then this will be a refresher. Listen as this episode covers three signs of a controlling person, along with suggested solutions to this common but exhausting habit.

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Minimizing Strife at Family Gatherings

December 20th, 2021

Are you having a family gathering for Christmas? Maybe you’ve already been contacted by some who have opted not to come, or who have requested that everyone be vaccinated before gathering. Or maybe you have family members who won’t visit unless everyone tests negative for COVID. No matter what you think or where you stand on the pandemic and all the connected issues, one thing is still true: we don’t have to argue about this or anything else at the dinner table.

Mocking people for their stand in the pandemic is unwise and does nothing attract people to Christ. Many people are genuinely afraid of catching the virus or any severe illness. Ridiculing someone for their fear is not going to decrease the fear, but it may increase the misconception that Christians are uncaring. Let’s face it: More people are afraid of dying than ever before, and without Christ, this fear is reasonable. Do we care more about debating the merits of a vaccine than sharing the Gospel?

When we become combative and argumentative as Christians, we’re looking less and less like Jesus. One of the greatest risks we face is not just a loss of personal freedoms; it’s a decrease of love for the lost.

You and I can’t do much about the storyline being pushed by national news, but we do have control over what happens within our own homes. How can we have gatherings with loved ones who have strongly held opinions that differ from ours? Is it possible? Yes, it is.

For this year-end episode, I’ll share three guidelines that I abide by in our home, with a goal of providing ideas, not mandates. These are unwritten but helpful policies that I quietly employ. This is our final episode of Season One. Thank you for your support of this young podcast!

Encouragement for Women--A 30-day Devotional

Calm in Christ: Inspiring Reasons for Daily Bible Study ebook

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What to Do About Self-Inflicted Trouble

December 13th, 2021

Have you ever done something that ended up putting you in a very bad spot? It may have been a something done on the fly without thinking, or maybe you actually had been thinking about it for a while. Either way, once the decision was made, the consequences were set in motion.

Whether we’re living contrary to biblical principles or just being too careless in daily decisions, we could be asking for our own version of the Jonah Journey, also known as the Fish Belly Tour. It’s not a pleasure trip.

Making mistakes is part of learning and growing, but sometimes we’re making them too frequently, and this can be very costly to us in more ways than one. Relationships may be damaged, along with our reputations and our testimonies. It’s common to have days when we just don’t feel like paying attention to our every move, but the reality is this: a lack of alertness can cost us more than we’re ready to pay.

There were people in the Bible who got themselves into trouble, and the one that we’ll study in this episode is Jonah. Let’s learn three things from the life of a man who spent some time out in the belly of a whale. Jonah’s example has several built-in lessons that can help us when we’ve gotten ourselves into trouble.

ICU--In Christ Unconditionally: Old Testament Bible Application Study

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Facing the Gray Area Decisions

December 6th, 2021

The digital age gives us more access to the private lives of others than ever before. Just think about it: If you wanted to know how someone was doing just 20 years ago, you didn’t log onto your computer or pick up a cell phone and start swiping through their social media account. You had to CALL them, or even slower, WRITE to them by snail mail.

This also meant that it was unlikely that we would know when someone was struggling with a difficult decision, since there were fewer methods of communication. Talking in person lent itself more to this kind of discussion. The gray areas of life were a hot topics back when we did more talking than texting, and they're even more volatile today.

In fact, if you want to start an argument fast, pick a gray area and then make an opinionated statement about it. Watch the sparks fly!

We are way too late to be the first ones to wrestle with gray area decisions. The apostle Paul wrote about it in Romans chapter 14:5: "One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind."

The context of this verse was in regards to Christian liberty. Paul was teaching that we need to be more concerned with our own motives and conduct than with that of others. Unfortunately, we have too many cooks in our kitchens. When people mistakenly confuse unity with uniformity, they are bound to cross over into someone else’s territory of decision. Expecting agreement over gray areas is unrealistic, but that hasn’t stopped people from dividing over issues where the Bible has not issued a mandate.

What can we do with gray area decisions? We'll cover four suggestions with a goal of inspiring discretion in decision-making, encouraging you to prayerfully take your gray areas to the Lord.

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Jesus Was Asleep in the Storm

November 29th, 2021

When we're familiar with the Bible, there is a risk that we will read through it too quickly, missing important key facts. For example, did you remember that Jesus got into a boat and went fast asleep in the midst of a storm?

Most of us would be up wide awake, watching the skies and shuddering at the sound of the howling winds. Worry and fear are not storm-stoppers, but the disciples had Jesus right there with them in the ship, and yet they asked Him this question in Mark 4:38: "... Master, carest thou not that we perish?"

We are so much like the disciples. We have Jesus with us daily, and yet we forget that He is continously able to tell the wind and the waves what to do and when to do it. We forget that He is Almighty because we are not. We try to attribute our weaknesses to Christ, which is a mistake on so many levels.

There are profoundly helpful lessons at the end of the fourth chapter of Mark that will help us to learn how to calm down, and how to rest in a storm. You'll want your Bible handy for this study of Mark 4:35-41. It's deep. Pun intended.

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The Empty Chair and Other Firsts of Grief

November 22nd, 2021

Whenever we get to the holidays, there's always the chance that there will be people who are going through a season of firsts. These are the things that come up in life and are happening for the first time since a loved one's passing, like having an empty spot at the dining room table. It’s disorienting, and we may find ourselves feeling like we’d rather not celebrate.

It's really hard to know what to do when you're going through something for the first time. It's kind of like being in a choir with a new piece of sheet music, and not knowing how to sing the song. Even if you are familiar with reading music, the first time through is rough. That's what it's like when you're going through a season of firsts because of changes in your life due to grief. Those firsts are unfamiliar and challenging.

The empty chair at the dining room table is one of several adjustments when we are trying to learn how to live without someone that we've had in our world for so long that they’re woven into the fabric of our soul. There are birthdays, anniversaries, and even first-time medical challenges without our beloveds by our sides. Even if we were expecting their passing, there is an adjustment period that takes time and takes us through a transition that is stunning at times, and tender at others.

This episode examines three things to consider when you're going through a season of firsts.

Encouragement for Women--A 30-day Devotional

Calm in Christ: Inspiring Reasons for Daily Bible Study ebook

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The Heavy Things We Carry

November 15th, 2021

Do you have friends who would walk on hot pavement barefooted for you? I have been blessed with friends like that, and they help lift heavy loads in my life. Today's special episode is a perfect example of this. Veteran radio host, Janice Wolfe from Faith Music Radio is our guest podcaster today, covering for me while I'm out battling illness. Janice's inspiring show, eleven2one, airs on Faith Music Radio from 11am-1pm, Monday through Friday. You will hear a sample of Janice in this episode about "The Heavy Things We Carry." (It's so easy to listen to her deep and beautiful voice. It reminds me of butter melting on toast.)

Do you realize we carry heavy things around every day? Heaviness is mentioned in both the Old and New Testament. Is there a way to lighten the load? The Bible gives us precise instructions on how to trade the weights that we carry for the much easier yoke of Christ. You'll want your journal to take notes during this encouraging episode. 

Many thanks to Dan and Janice Wolfe, my podcast trainers, for their investment in the podcast at Keep the Heart. Follow Janice on Instagram and Facebook, and visit her show by clicking the link below. 

 eleven2one radio with Janice Wolfe

Encouragement for Women--A 30-day Devotional

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Little is Much When Many are the Givers

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