Word Games by Heart

Penny Zeller, Christian Author

I am thrilled to welcome my guest blogger, writer Joy Avery Melville, to my blog today.  I met Joy through ACFW.  She is such a ray of sunshine and seeks to touch the lives of others with her joyful personality (hence her name!) Feel free to leave Joy a comment and let her know how God is using your words (whether written or spoken) to make a difference for His Kingdom.

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I pray you’ll be blessed by Joy’s blog post…


I think God was playing a word game with me last week. I was reading an article and it had the word ‘hearts’ in it. For some reason the word ‘hears’ jumped out at me. Now, that’s not a normal response for me when I see the word ‘hearts’ and especially when you consider the ‘s’ isn’t next to the ‘hear’ so why that happened at that particular time is a mystery to me. The chuckle I had to myself would normally have been the end of the incident, but not that evening. Seeing those two words played back and forth in my head off and on for several hours.

Later, I was sitting in the living room with my husband and our dog when I began thinking a little out-of-the-box in regards to the combination of hearts and hears and a spiritual application suddenly hit me. I shot out of my chair,  my Yorkie went nuts, my husband, no longer able to hear  his television program, went just a little crazy himself, but I kept moving and managed to shut myself in our library, much to my hubby’s  relief and the Yorkie’s chagrin.

Before the dust-up I’d envisioned an old, old picture depicting Jesus at a door that had no outside latch with his hand raised to knock. I’m sure many of you have seen that some copy of that picture.

What do you do when someone knocks at the door of your house? You hear the knocking, right? Then what do you do? Usually you go answer it by opening the door to whomever is standing on the other side.

Remember what I said about the picture? It has no latch on the outside of the door. The door can only be opened from the inside. That’s how it is with the door of our hearts – Jesus won’t force His way in. He stands and knocks, pleading for the owner to hear Him knocking and willingly open his heart’s door to forgiveness and life eternal.

I’m not sure why God used that word in the article I had been reading. I just know He really impressed the word hears from the word hearts and asked me to write about it. There might be someone just a bit hard-of-hearing due to the hardness-of-their-heart needing to read it at this time.

If that someone is you, please, don’t waste time. Only you can open your heart’s door  to welcome Him in by unlatching it from the inside.

And now, a bit about Joy: 

Joy has written several short stories, one of which one second place in a regional literary contest resulting with a monetary prize. Family obligations and then a severe, debilitating disease separated Joy from her beloved writing for over a decade but through God’s
leading and provision, she has recently been revising and rewriting a full-length Christian Women’s Fiction novel for the September 2011 ACFW Conference.

Falling in love with words and books at a very early age, Joy listened each night as her parents took turns reading a variety of books to one another before they retired to bed. The old farm house the family lived in had open registers to the second floor from the first and her parent’s voices carried clearly as they read to each other.

In the 8th grade, Joy wrote a twenty page short story for a year end assignment and received an A+ along with a meeting with her teacher at the end of the day. That concerned teacher encouraged Joy to take as many writing/English courses as she could and in her sophomore year of high school, Joy co-authored, co-composed with three other students, an entire operetta that the school’s choir, band and speech class produced for the public as a Spring Play. Five performances and the credits included not only her scene writing for several scenes, but lyrics as well as musical melody to three songs performed by soloists during the play. It was an exciting transition to writing on a new level. In her senior year Joy had enough credits to leave her high school at noon and go to the local community college to take college credit creative writing courses.