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The Heart of Stone

  • I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26 NIV

    I had a different childhood growing up. My Mom divorced nine times, and my Dad three. Everyone in my life was temporary. At one point I was the youngest of thirteen children, ten of which were step siblings that despised us being there. It was not uncommon to see them fist fighting in the yard, sometimes in the house with us.

    I had my head beat against the wall more than once. You learned to stay out of the way and to keep a low profile. I was the least of them all, and an outsider anyway. This began when I was one year old, so I grew up thinking that this was normal family behavior. It wasn't.

    By the time that I was an adult, I had developed a heart of stone. There were about three people on earth total that I cared anything about, and I had enough ex-family members to populate a small city. When some of them died, I felt joy. I developed a shell where no one could hurt me and I really had no feelings left for anyone. Eventually though, I learned that when you can no longer feel the pain, you can no longer feel love.

    After I came to know the Lord, He started melting this stony shell little by little. I actually started to care for people and it seemed strange at first. Finally at about thirty-five, I actually fell head over heels in love, got married and have lived happily ever since. I even cry at the movies. God gave me a new heart.

    There is healing for a heart of stone. God can give you a new one, and you can feel love just like you were meant to. Keep pursuing God. The more time you spend with Jesus, the softer your heart will become.

    Prayer: Father, soften my heart and show me Your love. Remove the heart of stone and give me a new one. Give me a fresh start, in the name of Jesus.

    Note: Happy Tuesday! The highlighted group of the week is "Dreams: Meaning and Purpose" If you would like to find out more about God speaking to us through dreams or have a dream you would like to share, we invite you to join! ALSO, we invite you to check out the Creation Photographers theme this week of "Earth Day" as a fun way to celebrate God''''s beauty on this planet! Finally, the FAAD chat topic this week will be "Going from Helpless to Helpful" and will take place on Thursday at 7pm, at the RHM chatroom! Have a blessed and joyful day!

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38 comments
  • 2
Mark Duell
Mark Duell Amen. Perfect timing Pastor Todd. I think now I have understood why I am the way I am. My situation wasn't quit as severe as your's. Actually not even close. It was just the relationship with my parents. As you have said, you just harden your heart to pain. So you really don't allow yourself to get to close to anyone. Your just going to get disappointed. I think that's why I have such a strong love for my wife and the the Lord. They are the only two that I trust with my heart. When I say this was perfect timing, I mean it was like yesterday morning on the way to work I was asking God to soften my heart and to weep for others and share their pain. Thank you brother for listening to the spirit of God.
April 19, 2016
  • 1
Twila Stierwalt
Twila Stierwalt Amen. This devotion is going to touch so many that have never experenced the love that Jesus has for them, and the freedom and peace, this just makes me want to share this with everyone.
April 19, 2016
  • 0
<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member Amen
April 19, 2016- Edit- Delete
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Praise God, I love that His timing is so perfect!
April 19, 2016
  • 1
David &amp; Dianna Earlywine
David & Dianna Earlywine Thank you Jesus for this wonderful day....Blessings to all Jesus is awesome..
April 19, 2016
  • 1
Twila Stierwalt
Twila Stierwalt Amen.
April 19, 2016
  • 2
David and Dianna Wyles
David and Dianna Wyles Amen! Melt what ever is left of my heart of stone! I want to be all yours Father!  Forgive my short-comings and guide me into all that you have planned for me! I am abundantly ready for all your blessings, protection, provisions and grace to pour into my life like Manna from Heaven raining down:) I can feel your favor on us and I thank you so much for all your guidance, support and gifts of love to my family and me through some very trying times and into healing, overcoming, and peace. When I look back at the last 2 1/2 years I see you holding us and carrying us all the way Father and I can't thank you enough for the healing and joy I get glimpses and moments of now. It's been a journey and without your steadfast guidance leading me I would not be here today, I would still be lost with no direction at all. Thank you Thank you Thank you! Your loving Daughter :) Amen Thank you Pastor Dion <3 This obviously struck a cord and thanks for the greatful cry this morning! I must have needed that ;) Blessings Pastor's Prayer Prayer: Father, soften my heart and show me Your love. Remove the heart of stone and give me a new one. Give me a fresh start, in the name of Jesus.
April 19, 2016
  • 1
Twila Stierwalt
Twila Stierwalt Amen,
April 19, 2016
  • 1
Deng Tembreza
Deng Tembreza amen  
April 19, 2016
  • 1
Schalk  de Beer
Schalk de Beer Amen Lord Jesus. 
April 19, 2016
  • 1
Twila Stierwalt
Twila Stierwalt Amen.
April 19, 2016
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Praise God for the love He has for us!
April 19, 2016
  • 2
Brenda Hopkins
Brenda Hopkins I thank and praise God that word Amen. I would like to thank God for allowing me to see another beautiful day he has blessed me to see 57 years on today I thank him for this birthday gift of life Amen..
April 19, 2016
  • 1
Kath Paro
Kath Paro Happy Birthday Brenda!  This puts a whole new spin on my attitude today!  Praise the Lord for special people being here in my life.  Have a marvelous day!  God bless.
April 19, 2016
  • 1
Twila Stierwalt
Twila Stierwalt Happy birthday, Brenda.
April 19, 2016
  • 1
Joseph Krell
Joseph Krell Happy Happy Happy Birthday Brenda! Be blessed as you are a blessing!
April 19, 2016
  • 1
Deng Tembreza
Deng Tembreza Happy Birthday Brenda!  May GOD shower you with lots of people that love and care for you.  Enjoy you birthday for this is the day that the LORD GOD has made for you.
April 19, 2016
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Happy birthday, Brenda, God bless <3!
April 19, 2016
  • 0
<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member Happy Birthday, I pray you are having an amazing and blessed day.
April 19, 2016- Edit- Delete
  • 1
Kath Paro
Kath Paro Dion~ Thank you for your words this morning.  Looking back over my life, I see my heart should have been hardened and become like stone with my childhood upbringing and my own alcoholism.  Somehow my Higher Power has graced me with a caring and giving heart.  I forgive very easily, even the rapist when I was 16.  The only one I am having trouble with is myself.  I have a soft heart with everyone I meet but, me.  I am slowly learning how to love and forgive me.  How you open my eyes each morning Dion!
April 19, 2016
  • 1
Twila Stierwalt
Twila Stierwalt Amen, Kath.
April 19, 2016
  • 1
Kathie Byram Lopez
Kathie Byram Lopez Amen.
April 19, 2016
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Amen, Kath!
April 19, 2016
  • 3
Twila Stierwalt
Twila Stierwalt Thank you pastor Dion for this devotion, I have a lot of friends that have never experenced Gods true love, because they never had the example when they were growing up. I thank God that I was raised in a Christian home with a very godly father and mother, We had devotions and prayed every day before we started our day. I have always been loved and never felt unloved like some people. It makes it very hard for those who have never experanced this kind of love, to realise that some one can love them like Jesus Christ loves them.
April 19, 2016
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd That is such a blessing, Twila, praise God! I know it's a harder road for those who have not experienced love even from the people in their lives, but I believe God will draw them to Him in the right time. We have loved ones here who still do not know Him, but we believe they will before their time is up <3.
April 19, 2016
  • 2
Marisa Jackson
Marisa Jackson GOD IS LOVE!!
April 19, 2016
  • 3
Carol Pady
Carol Pady Amen! God can change the heart. He changed mine.
April 19, 2016
  • 1
Beatrice &quot;Raye&quot; Huth
Beatrice "Raye" Huth Thank you for this beautiful message.  I am thankful for the blessings in my life; for the hardships and life lessons to create grace and patience.  Amen.
April 19, 2016
  • 2
Kathy Banfield
Kathy Banfield With God, everything is possible--He can change us and renew our minds.
April 19, 2016
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Amen, Kathy!
April 19, 2016
  • 2
Karen Pasquinelli
Karen Pasquinelli That was a wonderful testimony Pastor Dion.  Praise Jesus for softing your heart.
April 19, 2016
  • 2
Christina Ocasio
Christina Ocasio Amen ♡ 
April 19, 2016
  • 2
Cheryl Hepler
Cheryl Hepler Hello Dion & Sylvia and church attendees.  I miss a lot here at RHM.  Soo much going on around home called fencing.  Bassettes that drag me if I use a leash.  I need to feel need to be protected.  Over 70lbs of Bassettes.  I am weak but He is strong!! Amen!  My husband is here on vacation with me.  Very blessed!  In it all I am healing some & learning a lot of my new illness.  It ties in with my history of previous mental emotional illnesses.  Again He is strong in my weakness. I love hearing you sharing your life.  Quite a story!  Yet sad. So glad you met & marry Sylvia!  You were prepared special for her.  A woman who loves God.  This site is developing greatly with so much to offer.  Many needy people.  Many the Lord is going to heal inside out. Blessed oh Lord for what you have done here at RHM!!  
April 19, 2016
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Thank you so much, Cheryl! I know you have been having such a time there, so thank you for taking the time to encourage us!
April 19, 2016
  • 1
Mary Pat Taylor
Mary Pat Taylor This is something I'm struggling with in regard to relationships. Seems like the dream of a true best friend and soulmate to share my life is for other people not me. I *know* the Lord can do the impossible, and that's exactly the way it seems to me. I didn't even realize until the part my parent's unhappy marriage played in this, and I think even when I was conciously thinking positive, there was a fear of getting trapped like my Mom and a belief that anything different is highly unlikely at the very least. I HATE steroetypes, so I try to stay away from the "men are this" type of thinking but it's hard after so long and so many failures. Never found one to marry yet. At least now I'm in a place where I can delight in the Lord, and the gifts He gave me and just enjoy His company and that of my animals, who are such a blessing.
April 19, 2016
  • 1
Rick Doran
Rick Doran Wow, what a great example of God changing a heart.  I am a red headed step child, but I was the oldest of 2 1/2 sisters and 2 step sisters. it is different when you are treated differently than the others in your family. thankfully I have also found the love of my life, and 24 years  later my heart is Gods and even with the ups and downs of life things are good.
April 19, 2016
  • 0
<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member Beautiful message, thank you so much, God bless you and Sylvia.
April 19, 2016- Edit- Delete
  • 1
Wesley Paulus
Wesley Paulus Amen!  Another great and timely message. Thank you pastor Dion!  Thank you Jesus!!
April 20, 2016