The Voice of the Heart
The Voice of the Heart
The Second Edition
T he publication of the The Voice of the Heart occurred with little fanfare in August of 2001. It still remains a quiet book, personal to the reader's life. Amazingly, the book has made its way into hundreds and thousands of lives, directly and indirectly, all around the world.
The first edition is being read and used in places I never envisioned-but hoped for deeply. The Voice of the Heart has reached leaders who are looking for the passion in their purpose, groups of pastors who have found refreshment in its simple truths, treatment and counseling professionals who use it to bring the people they wish to help to awareness and freedom of heart, and even a seminary that has called itself to a return to heart. The truths of the book have been used in Sunday School classes, workplace environments, core curriculum in an elementary school, family discussions around the table, between marital partners, during times of solitude of individuals from all walks of life, and by parents who wish to speak to their children's hearts.
The book has a broad audience called humanity, and speaks to those who look to rediscover the doorway into how their hearts were created. My intent in writing The Voice of the Heart has always been to help others be who they are made to be, so they can do what they are made to do. The book's material does not change you; only God can change you, but it aids us in becoming more present so we can experience deep change.
Not much has been altered with this second edition of the book. There are some cosmetic changes; a new cover and page layout, along with some minor editorial additions including explanations and clarifications. Most notable is the addition of a "formula" for the gift of feelings. I have used this formula for years when teaching The Eight Feelings(TM) and have found it consistently effective.
The publication of this edition coincides with a companion Bible study that serves as a resource to help you listen to the voice of your heart. The study shows how feelings fit into the Christian life, and how feelings can bring us closer to the God who desires intimacy with us.
THE EIGHT FEELINGS(TM)
For centuries, people have recognized that if your heart is seen, known, invested, offered and given, then you are considered to be "all in" or "authentic." This authentic experience of the heart allows us to answer the first question God asked mankind: "Where are you?" (Genesis 3:9) It's a question He continues asking us to this day. By knowing our hearts, we see and know where we are and where we need to go.
Feelings, as described in this book, are the first and most important root of the Spiritual Root System(TM). They help us name what we are experiencing in our hearts. Feelings bring us to the confession of how wonderfully frightening it is to live the mystery of being with God and others.
Feelings, ultimately, are tools we have been given to live fully in a tragic place, where wonder and tragedy, great loves and great losses, intermingle. Our lives cannot yield fully to the eternity we envision in this finite place. But feeling our feelings allow us to "keep heart" in the struggle of living fully, loving deeply, and leading well a life worth living for ourselves and with others.
Over the years, I have been asked multiple times, "How come there are only eight feelings?" Plainly answered: I don't know. Perhaps only eight core feelings are all we need. You must test this for yourself. Let your own exploration of your heart be the answer.
I do believe that every human experience and expression related to feelings can be brought to core emotional experiences. There is a "bottom line" from which one can go no further, and we must name that experience or nothing will happen. Sad