Heart to Heart
by Pat Chwialkowski
Last month my husband presented his cousin with a neatly wrapped gift. When his cousin unwrapped the package, he was surprised to find a brand new Bible from Kirk with an inscription on the inside: To Stan, From Kirk, Merry Christmas 2009. Stan quickly thanked Kirk and mentioned to him he has been meaning to begin reading the Bible. Kirk came home pumped up and praising God for this opportunity. This moment in time was definitely an answer to one of my husband’s prayer.
In 1982, when Kirk and I came into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, our lives changed ( Click for more )
I was pleasantly surprised by all the e-mails that I received after last week’s devotional. Many of you wrote encouraging notes that left my spirit soaring. Others had me laughing hysterically (thanks Bob from Texas); while still others had the boldness to write a perfect stranger to let me know that you are now in the spot where I use to be—a place filled with sorrow. Please know that I feel your pain, and trust that God is already working out His mighty plan for you. I pray that as you walk through this wilderness, you will find the strength you need for each and every ( Click for more )
You are probably surprised to be reading a devotional from me today, since it has been awhile. My research indicates that the last time I wrote a devotional was in November 2008. What happened in 2008,2009 that caused my silence? I wish I could spell it out for you in just a few lines, but I am afraid that would be impossible. It’s going to take an entire book to share about the challenges that I had to face these past years. So hopefully one day you will see sitting on shelves in the Christian Bookstores, Lord I Believe, Help my unbelief—Author: A little nobody from Ohio. ( Click for more )
I never get tired of seeing it. In fact, the more I see it, the more determined I become in making it my life purpose. What I am talking about is –– changed lives. I am aware there are many things that can alter a life, but the transformation I am talking about, is one on the supernatural level. It is when a person truly encounters the living God, and understands who Jesus is, and what He has done for that person through His death and resurrection. When someone fully embraces these truths of Jesus, and becomes a child of God, that person is forever spiritually changed. ( Click for more )
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot and days of auld lang syne?
The popular New Year's Eve tune "Auld Lang Syne" is a song that has its roots in Scotland during the 18th century. The lyrics as we know them were written as a poem in 1788 by Robert Burns. I’m sure when Mr. Burns was writing the words to his poem he had no idea that he was writing the lyrics to one of the most popular songs ever recorded. He would probably be astounded to know that centuries later, this song is still sung by million of ( Click for more )
Thanksgiving is usually the time that we are able to reflect on our many blessings. However, this year is a little different. Instead of having a sense of gratitude for everything that we have, we could find ourselves disenchanted as we look around at the present chaos our world is in. In fact, it can be downright scary as we look at the unemployment rate, the volatile stock market, and see so much negativity around us. But if you think because of our economic crisis there is nothing to be thankful for this, I pray you will change your mind after reading the following story:
Last ( Click for more )
Since the $700 billion bailout package was signed into law last week, much talk is aimed at figuring what caused this emergency measure to have to be taken. During the Vice President debate, predatory lending practices were blamed. I could not agree more, since I saw first hand what this looked like.
In 2003, I needed to go back to work to help put my daughter through college. Since I had been a stay at home mom for 12 years, this was a big adventure for me to endure. As I scanned the want ads, I thought I found the job of a lifetime. The ad read: Make $100,000 – No experience ( Click for more )
The investment firm of E. F. Hutton is still remembered for its catchy advertising slogan: "When E. F. Hutton talks, people listen." The commercials would show people stopping whatever they were doing the moment someone would casually say, "Well, my broker is E. F. Hutton, and he says..."
This past spring my husband and I did something we rarely do. We traveled to Ann Arbor Michigan, on a Saturday morning, to listen to a sales pitch on how we could buy into a vacation deal of a lifetime. We usually ignore these kinds of offers, but there was a free gift attached ( Click for more )
When Kirk and I helped move our daughter into her new house recently, we met her next door neighbors. Steve and Melonie and Wes moved into their new house just one week prior to Elisa’s move. They immediately came over to introduce themselves and said they were available if we needed anything.
And needed them…we did. Steve’s tools, coupled with Melonie’s hospitality, made Elisa’s move much easier than anticipated.
Steve and Melonie invited us over for dinner our last night there. They served us a delicious entrée of baked manicotti, ( Click for more )
My 23 year old single daughter had a brand new house built over the summer. Since Elisa was coming home when school ended in May, she told the project manager before she left, “Everything is in your hands—see you in two months”. He promised to build her a high quality home using the best materials around. Elisa took him at his word and left for Toledo.
The first of August, Kirk and I went back with Elisa to South Carolina to help her move in. The very first thing that was on our agenda was to go inspect Elisa’s new house. Since Kirk and I always had new ( Click for more )
In 1977, Jimmy Carter became our 39th president, the first Rocky movie was made, disco was the dance craze, Elvis Presley died, and my husband and I got married. What a year that was!
Just recently Kirk asked me if I knew everything that I know now, would I still have married him. Without hesitation, I told him, “Of course you silly goose…who else would have wanted me?” Whether that is the case or not, I will never know. But what I do know is on October 29th, 1977 two lives meshed into one, and two hearts were joined as one. Over the past 30 years we have ( Click for more )
I know that the last couple of articles have been pretty heavy. I apologize for that. However, I have always wanted to choose subjects relevant to what is going on in my life. From these past couple of articles, it is not hard to discern that my life has been far from boring. Due to this overload, I feel emotionally spent. I can always tell when I get emotionally drained. And when that happens it affects all areas of my life—especially my relationships. So in order to get “filled up” again, I am planning on taking a writer’s sabbatical the rest of the summer. ( Click for more )
I know I told you about the time in 2003, when I was experiencing true revival in my life, but there is more to the story that I feel is time to communicate to you my dear beloved reader. My story is hard to believe. But isn't everything we believe about God based on little reasoning and lots of faith? It has taken me months to get to this point that I can finally share with you some things that have transpired in my life since last February. Here is my story...believe it or not!
It was on Thanksgiving Day, November 27,2003 when the Lord directed me to the Old Testament book of ( Click for more )
A couple of weeks ago our daughter Elisa e-mailed us to ask us to pray for her principal’s 9 year old niece who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Nine year old Emily was diagnosed with a thalamic pilocytic astrocytoma in January 2008. She has a slow-growing tumor in the thalamus of her brain. It is in the deep structure of the left side of her brain and cannot be removed surgically. She has begun a long treatment plan that begins with a year long chemotherapy cycle. Emily is a funny, social, happy girl. She continues to inspire and amaze the people around her with ( Click for more )
“You want a WHAT???” Those were the words my husband said to me in 1982 just months after I became a Christian. Sheepishly I repeated myself as I said, “I think I would like a dog”. Kirk’s outburst was understandable. I never had a dog my entire growing up and up to that point had no desire for one. However, after embracing Christ as my Lord and Savior, my heart was changing so fast I was even having a hard time comprehending what was happening. Peace and joy was replacing my anxiety and sadness. Apathy was exchanged with purpose. But most of all my ( Click for more )
My husband and I have a cottage that the Lord gave us in 1983. We had just become Christians six months prior when the opportunity of a lifetime was handed to us. We bought this cottage for $13,000 under market value. We could not believe that God would bless us in such a big way.
After we put in our offer and before we heard from the sellers, we were at a Friday night bible study. We had just finished our prayer time, when my husband pulled me into the kitchen. Excitedly, he announced to me that the Lord told him that we were going to get the cottage for the price we wanted, ( Click for more )
Hello Heart to Heart readers! My name is Susan Heiden and my dear friend Pat has asked me to fill in for her this week as her guest writer. Pat is preparing for a new season God has planned for her life and it is requiring a great deal of energy and focus. Please keep her in your prayers as she is being refined and sifted and the cost of the oil in her alabaster box becomes more priceless.
What does "the cost of the oil in her alabaster box mean, you ask"? Well, if you will indulge me for a moment I will tell a little story about two women whom you may already know and ( Click for more )
I have a couple of cousins who researched our genealogy. My maiden name is Melczak and I am of Polish descent. I was always a little confused why my last name did not sound Polish. Later, I learned that Melczak is actually a Czech-Slovakian name. And Melczak should not be my real last name.
My great grandfather, Joseph Melczak married a woman named Magdalene who came from a family of nobility. After they married and while Magdalene was pregnant with my grandfather, they made the journey from Poland to the United States. Upon getting off the boat, my great-grandfather identified ( Click for more )
In 2003, I was experiencing true revival in my life. It seemed to me that Jesus and I were communicating in a very intimate way. Jesus says in the gospel of John that his followers will hear his voice. I was always confused about that verse, for up to this point I had never really heard the audible voice of Christ. But this year was different. Every morning as I communed with the Lord, he was leading me to scriptures that I never knew existed.
It was on Thanksgiving Day, November 27,2003 when the Lord directed me to the Old Testament book of Haggai. Since I had never been a student ( Click for more )
I recently spent three weeks visiting my daughter in South Carolina. It was such a blessing and a vacation that I will remember for a lifetime. It was hard for me to release my daughter last August when her father and I left her behind as we traveled back to Ohio to the house that we could not sell. However, after visiting my daughter I am so glad that she at least got a chance to make the big move to the South where she is thriving. She is even making her residency in South Carolina more permanent than ever, as she is building a brand new house this summer.
On ( Click for more )
Have you ever done the white knuckle test? If not, I encourage you to go for it. I was introduced to the “white knuckle test” while reading a book written by Corrie Ten Boom. Miss Ten Boom was a Dutch survivor of the Nazi Concentration Camps. Her family had hidden Jews during the German occupation of Holland. Because of this, the entire family had been captured and sent off to a concentration camp. Corrie was the only one to come out alive. Her faith and insight allowed her to minister to millions of people around the world until her death in 1983. She was a woman of great ( Click for more )
It’s that time of year again. It’s the season when most weddings take place. I have had the pleasure of attending three weddings in the past month. I have to admit to you I had to fight back the tears at each and every one of them. Isn’t it strange that at such joyous occasions, tears want to come? Well, I did pretty good fighting back the tears at all these weddings, but I can’t promise you the same at my own daughter’s wedding’s someday. My sister-in-law Val proved that point, as I tenderly watched her dab her tears during her son’s recent ( Click for more )
I remember praying so diligently for a baby 26 years ago. But day after day, month after month, even year after year, my arms remained empty. I thought why is God saying “no” to my aching heart. But now, having just celebrated my daughter’s 23birthday, I realize God was not saying “no”. Instead, He was saying “wait”. “Wait on Me”. “Wait on my timing”. “Wait on My perfect will for you”. How much easier my journey would have been if I knew then, what I know now. But I did not know. Now, 26 years later, I’ve ( Click for more )
Recently my husband was leaving a restaurant after having breakfast with his “Saturday Boys”, when three older ladies stopped him. Here is the conversation that took place:
Older Ladies: Pardon me; did you ever watch American Idol?
Kirk: Yes indeed. It is one of my wife’s favorite shows.
Older Ladies: Well, did anyone ever tell you that you look just like Simon Cowell?
My jokester of a husband: No, but some people tell me that I act like him.
Sorry honey, I have to disagree with you. Unlike Simon Cowell, my husband is one of the most kind, gentle, ( Click for more )
US Ship: Please divert your course 0.5 degrees to the south to avoid a collision.
CND reply: Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.
US Ship: This is the Captain of a US Navy Ship. I say again, divert your course.
CND reply: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course!
US Ship: THIS IS THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS CORAL SEA; WE ARE A LARGE WARSHIP OF THE US NAVY. DIVERT YOUR COURSE NOW!!
CND reply: This is a lighthouse. Your call.
This joke has made many people laugh over the years, including myself. Then again, I think ( Click for more )
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