The Gift that Compels…

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

The angel said to the shepherds, ” I proclaim to you a great joy… today the Savior of the world is born for you, alleluia.”

For you…for me…for all.

The Greatest Gift ever given.

No other gift given or received today makes sense without first receiving this Greatest Gift given.

Are we entranced by the pretty wrap and bow and have yet to open The Gift?…Have we put it on a shelf at a comfortable distance from our lives? …How are we certain we have opened The Gift?…

When the love of Christ compels us to share  The Gift with others…in that often quiet, but unique way, that God intends for our lives to become through His grace perfect acts of love that give witness to Him.

Merry Christmas to all my readers…may the love of Christ compel you to share The Gift with all on your life’s path,

Joyfully, From the Heart of J

Holy Haste of the Spirit…

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

Holy Haste of the Spirit? …or…Hectic Haste of the Holidays?

Holy Haste through the hill country of charity?…or…Hectic Hate through the mall of much?

Mary demonstrates to us the holy haste through the hill country of Judah to assist her cousin Elizabeth in her time of need.

Are we pursuing the holy haste that leas us to the gift of the nativity?…or the Hectic Haste that leads to the spinning of our wheels breathless in the holiday huff and puff?

It is one of those profound mysteries that in the holy haste of charity, there is a hint of that peace of timelessness that slows down our busy bodies because it connects us the holy hush of Christmas eternal.

May your holy haste this week be blessed.

John Lewis, on online retailer in the UK, recently released their 2015 Christmas Commercial and the video has gone viral. I think because many can relate. It’s about a girl named Lily who after looking through a telescope discovers the man in the moon. She is determined to let him know that someone is thinking of him. John Lewis has produced this commercial to bring awareness to the over a million senior citizens who will go the next holiday month without talking to a single person. See the video below…it will certainly inspire your Hoy Haste!

Unshakeable Confidence…

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image via from the heart of j

“Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders…Take me deeper than my feet will ever wander and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.” Hillsong United

What if you led your life with a trust without borders…a trust in a God whose unwearied, extravagant love for you personally is so beyond what your mind and heart could ever fathom? What would your life look like? How would it change?

With unshakeable confidence let us set forth this week knowing with our eyes on God, we can walk on water.

Are You the Tootsie in the Tootsie Roll Pop…the Prize in the Cracker Jack?

image by heart of j

image by heart of j

Recently when making a sandwich (yes, that’s gluten free bread)…I pulled out a slice of bread that looked like this…

and in the funny way this from the heart of j’s mind works I thought of a line from a TS Eliot poem, “We are the hollow men. We are the stuffed men leaning together headpiece filled with straw. Alas!”

And I thought of Christmas…

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season has begun. With  the secularization of Christmas so many are going through the motions in an almost robotic fashion. By this date I have to have a tree up – CHECK- , my shopping list is almost complete – CHECK- , holiday baking done -CHECK-, -CHECK-, -CHECK-, -CHECK-!

Have we become the hollow men?

In the secular shallowness, we need to be the tootsie in the tootsie roll pop, the prize in the Cracker Jack, the crème filling in the Twinkie to others…you know, the modern day salt in the Earth and leaven in the dough.

By our actions and our words, reminding people of the true meaning of Christmas. Drawing others into the truth that we are all extravagantly loved by “The Word who became Flesh and dwelled among us”

No longer hollow…our lives are forever changed!

Beauty in the Becoming…

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

It seems particularly fitting that my last post was the first week of Lent and I am resuming the first week of Advent. This journey of the heart, as of late, has taken me through an intensive internship and onward to a second, mid-life career as a licensed counselor. My blog and all my loyal readers have been in my thoughts and in my prayers in my absence, and I anticipated the time when I could return to regular posts.   I pondered changing the name of the blog to “The Beauty in the Becoming” for that is the profound discovery I am making as I meet with my clients. But “Through Him With Him In Him” will always be home, for it is only through Him with Him and in Him that we discover the beauty in the becoming. I will resume posting and am extending anew an invitation to join me in our combined journeys of the heart through Him with Him and in Him as we each discover the beauty of our becoming.

From the Heart of J

PS Please join me today on my professional site  where I post each Wednesday.

I think you might enjoy my recent post “Fog…Loneliness…and the Man in the Moon”. And if it moves you, please join the Christmas Challenge!

Make it a Place of Springs…..

image via from the heart of j

image via from the heart of j

“As they go through the Bitter Valley, they make it a place of springs”(Ps86)

Be the bearer of the water from the well…

Be the water struck from the rock…

Be the water calmed by His word…

Be the water poured forth from His side…

Yes, as you go through the Bitter Valley of this day…

Make it a place of springs….

Allowing a current of grace to flow from you to others…

Yes, making it a place of springs.

Walking Each Other Home…


image via

image via

We are all just walking each other home…

In the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful…

we are all just walking each other home.

Our lives intersect and collide, bump into and bounce off of…

And yet we are all just walking each other home.

In our clumsy, wobbly way of journeying…

infused with grace…

we are all just walking each other home.

Man as Epiphany…


“There once was a monk named Epiphanes. One day he discovered in himself a gift from God that he never suspected to possess: he could paint beautiful icons. However he wasn’t any more at peace: he wanted, at all costs, to portray the face of Christ. Where to find a suitable model that would express at the same time suffering and joy, death and resurrection, divinity and humanity? Epiphanes then set off on a journey. He traversed Italy, France, Germany, Spain, scrutinizing every face. Nothing. The face suitable to represent Christ was not there. Tired he fell asleep repeating the words of the psalm ‘Lord, I seek Your face. Show me your face!’ He then had a dream. An angel appeared to him who brought him back to the people he had met and for each person, pointed out the one detail that made that face similar to Christ: the joy of a lover, the innocence of a child, the strength of a farmer, the suffering of a patient, the fear of a condemned man, the tenderness of a mother, the dismay of an orphan, the hope of a young man, the joy of a jester, the mercy of a confessor, the mystery of the bandaged face of a leper … Epiphanes understood and returned to his monastery. He set to work and after a while the icon was ready and he presented it to his abbot. The abbot was astonished: it was wonderful. He wanted to know which model he had used because he wanted to show him to the other artists of the monastery. But Epiphanes said “Nobody, father, was the model because no one is equal to Christ, but Christ is similar to all. You cannot find Christ in the face of one man, but in every man is a fragment of the face of Christ. + Anonymous

Every person is an epiphany of God. He “hides” within each of us and we are invited to seek His face in the faces of all those brothers and sisters upon our path. Holy Spirit, teach us to recognize the many forms of Your presence in one another. Happy Feast of the Epiphany to all!


Stare at the four dots in the center of the picture for about 30 seconds. Then close your eyes. What do you see?

The Grace to Receive…the Courage to Give

image via versusbattle,com

image via versusbattle,com

This season we each have received a gift…

The renewal of our salvation.

But you ask…how can I unwrap this gift? how can I live this gift? how can this gift, this year, make more of a difference in my life?

how can I receive this gift more deeply…with more conviction, more conscientiously, with more charity, with more celebration in my heart?

how can I be that convicted, conscientious, charitable, celebrative Christian that is leaven, light, salt in the world?

The answer is simple..

To receive the gift more deeply…we must give the gift away more freely.

For it is in the giving, that we receive.

For the grace to receive more deeply, may I have the courage to give more freely!