For some reason when I read the words Take Heart I picture myself on an old, wooden ship in the middle of a giant storm, think the Perfect Storm meets Pirates of the Caribbean. In this made up scenario, I imagine looking over to someone right before a giant wave hits and he yells to me, "Take Heart!" It gives me courage to grip the rope, duck my shoulder and brace myself for the wave that is going to try it's hardest to wash me off this ship.
It's weird to me that this scenario pops into my head when I read these words because I have never been on a pirate ship before or been in the ocean during a giant storm. To be honest, I am not a huge fan of being on boats in general. I tend to be more of a land dweller.
But, as I sat here to write this product description this scenario popped into my head again, and I think it's because we only need words like, "Take Heart" when the waves are crashing and the storm is raging. In the book of John, Jesus says, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
I think the person yelling at me to "Take Heart" right before the wave hits is Jesus and I think he is yelling the same thing to you. Take Heart and let the wave crash and the storm rage because with Jesus by your side you will overcome!
When I see the peace sign I usually think of a group of tourists standing in front of some random landmark taking a picture and I find that an unfortunate first thought.
I wish I thought of Jesus every time I saw the peace sign or heard the word peace since He is the Prince of Peace, but I don't because our culture has turned the peace sign into a picture pose instead of something we actively pursue in all situations.
I often find myself being more interested in my point of view than seeking peace even though Jesus says, "Blessed are the peacemakers..." He didn't say blessed are the "people who have their argument down pat so that when a disagreement comes they can win an argument." I often land on that side of the coin rather than the peace-making side so I am thankful for this shirt. A very obvious and bold reminder to myself that I should seek peace and pursue it. It can also be used in photos while holding up a peace sign 😉✌🏼- T.J.
My thesis is that in the Scripture when God "blesses" men they are thereby helped and strengthened and made better off than they were before, but when men "bless" God he is not helped or strengthened or made better off. Rather (with C. A. Keller in THAT, I, 361) man's blessing God is an "expression of praising Thankfulness" - John Piper | desiringGod
I love that! I love to think that saying Bless the Lord is a way of saying, "THANK YOU!" It makes me like this design even more!
Is anyone else super convicted by the word "any" in this verse (Ephesians 4:29) or is that just me? I mean I do a pretty good job at keeping unwholesome talk coming out of my mouth, but there is still some and that verse definitely says ANY.
When I wear this shirt I am very aware of the things that I am saying and it leads me to say more uplifting things to my wife, kids + friends. I hope it does the same to you - T.J.