Changes of the Heart

Strange how making a decision can change things around you. A few days ago I made a decision to alter how I was doing, what I was doing, out of necessity. And basically, it all had to do with rearranging my priorities. I allowed one activity to override the equally important needs of another. Not always, but definitely too often. And after having made that decision, I started to notice things.

I felt better inside because I was not ignoring what I too frequently had allowed myself to previously ignore. The “battle” for position of attention had been decided on and those little extras that mean so much to those that we love, took on a new peace about them. A lot of the grudgingly aspects of being interrupted while I was focused, seemed to drop to the wayside because the priorities had been reset. Once the urgency had shifted, and been complied with, new opportunities to do both seemed to present themselves and I did not feel like I had abandoned one, to attend to the other. 

I have a tendency to focus on one thing, to the exclusion of another, and that is not always good. Actually it’s probably never good. Sometimes it is not what we do or do not do, but how we do those things for others (the mindset that is in play) that are indeed more important and really matter, and the attitude in which they are done. It’s subtle but it’s different, because the attention has been shifted. I still do a lot of the things for others that I did before but the heart action behind what is being done has shifted. Kind of like one of those Mary and Martha things we read about in the New Testament. 

I’m still working through this so this isn’t a done deal. But once the decision was made, things started to fall into place better than what they previously had been. There is ample time to do both but at different levels where one does not suffer because of the other. Self imposed levels of output have diminished on one side and risen up on another that was neglected. A better balance has materialized and I am at peace with it. Imperatives have been adjusted and I am surprised at the “opportunities” that appear, to focus on both, even with a priority set for one over another. 

I don’t need to cover every thing that feeds into my focus. Some of it can wait and some will just drop to the way side but the important thing is the focus of my heart, to the Lord that I love and those that I care for. One can be there but not be there, and the most vital factor is to literally be there for all of the needs that need to be met, individually at that one time, in the specific need that needs to be met now. It is what your heart is focused on that matters, because it ultimately shows.

So this is a bit of an update, what I anticipated would happen, is not near as negative as I thought it would be and what I have gained is more than I thought I would gain. I woke up early this morning, refreshed and this will be posted before the day starts and this may be it and that is OK. If I get some “free” time where no one else is affected, that is a bonus but the day is theirs, not mine.

If you haven’t noticed by now, when I focus, I have a tendency to separate myself from all that is around me. That may be good for focusing purposes but it isn’t great for touching hearts around oneself. The lessons of Mary and Martha’s interaction with Jesus run deep.

I’m thinking this is a work in progress. Our God is amazing patient and I continue to be astonished at how little I truly understand. 

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!


    • Thanks Alan, I see a lot of humbleness in you so I am standing in good company. Or, one could say that I am a bit of a slow learner, which apparently is too often the case. I love you in the Lord Alan, you have yourself a blessed day!

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  1. Bruce, your willingness to continue to adjust and change your habits and focus is commendable. Not too many guys in their 70’s are open to a reboot!

    My perspective, as a person who reads most of what you post, is that a good “reasoned cases” post twice a week is just as valuable (to me) as four or five good posts a week. The people who truly want to follow and engage with your content do so because of quality more than quantity. Just an unsolicited two cents from a less experienced blogger.


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    • I often think that us “guys” are sometimes a weird lot and have much to learn from a woman’s perspective. This “tunnel vision” that men too frequently get into would be one of them. Glad I gave you some joy Linda, and coming from you, it is sincerely appreciated. I can almost see you smiling from here! Blessings and thank you.

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  2. Bruce, I think my current circumstances may be similar to what you are going through. I have been 7 hours away from home for 2 months caring for my very ill father. Basically, I have been a 24/7 nurse, although I am not a real nurse. Not only has this had a huge effect on my ability to study the Bible, work on my blog, and read other blogs, I have also been physically affected (exhausted, lack of sleep, etc.). It’s taking a toll on me. I know that this is what I have to do right now. I know I have to practice what I preach – love. I am hopeful that I will be able to go back home in about 2 weeks.
    My experience shows me that sometimes our brothers and sisters in Christ depend on their pastors more than usual because of life’s circumstances. They honestly can’t study the Bible as much as I do. Woe to those spiritual leaders who are not caring for the flock in truth and lead their flock astray when their care is needed most. I have a new perspective that has shifted from one that puts all the responsibility for finding truth on the believer to shifting more responsibility to the pastors and teachers. I now better understand why Jesus was so hard on the Pharisees.

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    • Hi Cindy, well what you’ve been going through would certainly give one a new appreciation for what some have been called to deal with, wouldn’t it? And even then, there are those who have even more to deal with. Sometimes there are things that you just have to do what you have to do and we are stretched to what we figure, is the limit of our endurance. All things considered, I really don’t have that much to complain about and most times, my biggest problem is me and my own attitude. And I hear what you are saying about Pastors and teachers, but even there, they are really just human, like the rest of us. I’m not making excuses for them, but I do have to realize that sooner or later, each of us individually, has to learn to deal with what comes across our path. Sometimes we receive help and sometimes we don’t. If we do, that is a gift and if we don’t, maybe that is a gift too. And where the rubber hits the road is how we rely on Jesus. When I consider what the Apostle Paul had to deal with, it pretty well shuts me up. And when I consider what Jesus endured, it makes me hang my head. I wish I had the answers to all the questions about what happens to us but I honestly don’t have those answers. There is an awful lot of God’s grace involved, with each of us. And I have to go with God’s Word where it says that all things work towards for good, to them that love God and are called according to His purpose. Hang in there Cindy, He knows our limits and our problems, He will see us through. That I believe. God’s blessings on you and yours as always, love you in the Lord.

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      • Thanks, Bruce. It’s good to remember what the disciples endured, and Jesus Himself. That could end our pity-party pretty quickly! It always boils down to putting Christ first and seeking Him with all of our heart. If we do that, He will take care of us. That I know. Blessings, Bruce.


      • That’s not to say Cindy that some days our biggest accomplishment is just getting through it. I’ve had my fair share of those too. They really make you appreciate the days when you are in the cheering section. Some days the best I can do is just say that I am still there. No me waving my arms and showing enthusiasm, that would be me in the corner, with my arms hanging down. And if we can understand that in ourselves and others, you know for sure Jesus does. I’d give you a hug if I could.❤️

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  3. I hear you, Bruce. My place of work shut down over the July 4th holiday and I had an unprecedented 7 days off in a row (back to work tomorrow – argh!), so my WordPress draft posts queue quickly filled up again to pre-employment levels. I wake up at 4 AM but my wife doesn’t get up until 8:30 AM so I have lots of time to muse and write on my days off. But after I return to work I anticipate the the queue will quickly decline back down to one original posting per week.


  4. Bruce you have never let me down! Some posts cause me to think on things I never thought about. Some to revisit things settled, to my satisfaction, long ago but not able express how or why in the present. Some times I’m sired to action by a post and sometimes just encouraged. Sometimes it’s me too or even I’m not the only one. Iron sharpens Iron and the Spiritual Gifts we are given are for the edification of the Church. Your passion, honesty humility and openness is to your credit and an inspiration to me. As to this post, I’m glad the adjustment is working for you and better/differently then yo expected. Obedience works that way even if we can’t see it in “real time” as you are. We have similarities background and as I read this post “me too” or I need to do that” resounds in my mind. Blessings Brother


    • Well that’s encouraging Dave, and I thank you for letting me know. One thing that has struck me over the years I have been blogging, and even before that, is that when push comes to shove, most of us that are earnestly striving to walk with Jesus are pretty close to being the same and I don’t know about you but I take encouragement in that. None of us are perfect, we all have strengths and weaknesses and we’re all still learning. Sometimes we share our successes and sometimes we share our failures and that lets me know that I’m not alone. I’m thinking that is how we build one another up, by being as real as we can. I sincerely thank you for your encouragement, it means a lot. One day you and I will meet and that is something that I really look forward to. God’s blessings on you and yours Dave.

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