Thursday, February 4, 2021

Spiritual Journey First Thursday & Sharing Our Stories: Take Heart

Fran at Lit Bits and Pieces is hosting our 
"Take Heart" gathering for February.

When Fran sent out our theme for February, I have to admit that I was a bit puzzled. I googled the phrase "take heart" and the first thing that popped up was the song "Take Heart" by Matthew West. Give it a listen.

So many words from this song spoke to my heart. And as I thought about this new-to-me phrase, "take heart," I knew that one way to take heart in my life was to take comfort. Comfort is my OLW for 2020. And then I recalled a quote from a podcast I listened to recently that spoke comfort to my heart and that I entered into my devotional journal: 

"I hope you will take time to sit for a few quiet moments and let the Savior's spirit warm you and reassure you.  . . .  Let that moment be one of rest and refreshing and reassurance and renewal."

Those words from D. Todd Christofferson's 2015 Christmas address  "Be At Peace" remind me to spend some of my devotional time just sitting in order to feel the warmth and reassurance of the Savior's spirit. 

In this same address, there is a reference to a radio interview with Desmond Tutu:

"During the interview the host asked a perceptive, inspired question of Bishop Tutu: 'Have you found that your relationship to God has changed as you’ve grown older?'

Bishop Tutu paused and then said, 'Yes. I am learning to shut up more in the presence of God.'"

As I'm striving to improve my devotional time, I'm trying to remember "to shut up more in the presence of God." 

And then last night, I received Fran's note that her post was available. And in reading her post, I discovered the origin of her phrase "take heart" in these words from the book of John,

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. —John 16:33

Those bolded words, "take heart" are rendered "be of good cheer" in my King James version of the Bible. But I like this new-to-me phrase, "take heart." And so in the margins of my Bible, I've added the words "Take heart, SJT Feb. 2021." 

As we continue to face difficult days, may we take heart and be of good cheer as we seek His peace. 

To savor the magic of story, link your post at Sharing Our Stories.


  1. Ramona: I am so glad you had to Google the phrase and found this song. I am listening to it as I write this comment - it is incredibly beautiful. The music and the lyrics wrap themselves around me like a warm blanket from above. I am so grateful. Yes - my verse is from the ESV version of the Bible. It appears as "be of comfort," "be of courage," and the one you know, "be of good cheer" in various versions. How you have buoyed my heart today with this post! <3

  2. Ramona: Thank you for sharing this journey of the heart. I find much wisdom there, especially the Tutu and the John 16 quotes. Each new connection is a blessing.

  3. Ramona: I hadn't listened to the song when I made my previous comment... it is so lovely... THANK YOU!

  4. Lovely song! Thank you for your words. Taking comfort today!

  5. Isn't it wonderful that in the middle of such a challenging time, we can say to each other, "take heart," and it really means something. I love this theme for this month.

  6. Our last year has brought "take heart" to the forefront of our lives. We all need to "take heart" a lot more.

  7. Ramona, you have captured the words take heart in your search for its meaning. It seems that you wove these words into so many threaded trails for us. The song is beautiful. I have not heard this one and it is going to be a favorite of mine, especially the thoughts that God will not abandon us in times of trial. So now before sleep I shall listen and be in the presence of God.

  8. Ramona - thank you as always for refocusing my attention to the important:

    I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. —John 16:33

  9. Ramona- Thank you for sharing this piece. I need to definitely shut up more in the presence of God! Take heart and take comfort are powerful nudges.

  10. oh my...totally identified with this, As I'm striving to improve my devotional time, I'm trying to remember "to shut up more in the presence of God." Yes across the miles, we are doing this together...I love that idea that both of us are working towards listening better... XO

  11. Isn't it wonderful all the different ways the voice of God repeats itself when we remember to get quiet? I definitely need to work on that!

  12. It is always fascinating when we discover that some phrases are new. Learning never stops.

  13. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
    I had not heard this song before now.
    Thank you for sharing this post.
    Thank you for sharing this message.

  14. Thanks for the song. Even when you're barely holding on, I carry you. We can say that about God and about friends. Thanks for this message.