So, Why Guarded Hearts? And whats with the reference to Proverbs 4:23?
Early on in my faith walk, I realized Proverbs 4:23 is a life verse for me, in the New Living Translation (NLT) it reads:
“Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.“
This verse came to me after several periods of growth and regression as a Christian. I began to realize the truth behind it – the more I immersed myself in the truth of the Bible, the more I felt closer to God. The more I felt closer to God, the happier and more joyful I felt. The more joyful I felt, the more I sang praise and worship, and sought out private time to pray to God through out my day.
On the contrary, when I would miss a few days of Bible reading, I would find myself quick to react, frustrated and just down in the dumps. I would avoid prayer because when I’m angry, I don’t feel the least bit interested in praying to God (most times if I’m being honest, it’s because I know my anger is not justifiable, and is instead caused by my own selfish thinking.) I would spend more time watching TV that I knew was not at all helpful in my life (lets all compare ourselves to a pretend storyline), reading things I shouldn’t be reading (lets all complain about our spouses) and then would drown my sorrows in some music that often had selfish motives. I’d wonder where God was, but it was clearly me that moved.
I began to recognize over and over the importance of my relationship with God and what I fed my mind. Just like I take vitamins to help my physical health, so too do I need to take something for my spiritual well being. When I’m spiritually well and healthy, the rest of my life seems to follow suit: my anxiety lessens, my patience increases, and most importantly I am just overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. I am literally that person walking around with a dopey grin on my face, just loving life.
I recognized how much this verse was not just a reminder for me to immerse myself in the goodness of the Bible, prayer and meditating on how God sees me, but also a way of life. My Christian faith doesn’t just guarantee me life in heaven when my time here expires, but also promises victory in there here and now, and honestly who doesn’t want that?
I was very fortunate to have several leadership opportunities before me, which enabled me to teach others discipleship tactics. I still can not believe the blessing I received to be able to speak into the lives of others, and encourage them in their faith. It was an incredible opportunity that showed me I was made for ministry work. On a personal note, I also began to really work on healing from the pain of my past, and I have found so much victory in the Word of God and this life that I never knew before now.
That is what motivates me: I want to encourage others to pursue the victory God offers them! I was surprised when many people began to speak into my life, and tell me I should be writing, and that I had a way with my written words. I started with a simple blog and honestly most posts were written because the message was in my head and was burning a hole, like allowance money in a child’s pocket. But, this lead to confirmation that God was indeed calling me to write.
I was away at a Christian camp when I had this vision of a webpage, full of encouraging discipleship material, things to encourage spouses, parents, and Christians in general. I pictured guest authors, and a community full of encouragement built from the authoritative Word of God, the Bible itself.
I knew right away the name, Guarded Hearts. When you guard yourself in God’s word, keep yourself covered in prayer, and spend time reflecting on Jesus and who he is, you are immersing yourself in victory. You are literally guarding your heart, and determining that the course you take will be one of victory.
That is my goal: to encourage readers to victory in their lives. To instill in them a desire to open their Bible and read. To strengthen their knowledge of God, and what he wants for them.
So here we are.
Guarded Hearts Ministries… a place of encouragement for all aspects of Christian life, with an emphasis on Christian truths. A place where people can be encouraged to immerse themselves in all of the goodness that God has promised to his children. A place of different areas built on one key ministry concept: Guarding your heart above all else, and letting it determine your steps.
Thank you for reading, encouraging me and praying for this ministry as it begins and hopefully grows for the years to come.
@guarded.heart.ministries on Instagram.
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❤ Leslie Deane-Mountjoy