About Beliefs of the Heart

Hi, my name is Sam Williamson. I’m the founding director of  Beliefs of the Heart, author Hearing God in Conversation: How to Recognize His Voice Everywhere  and of Is Sunday School Destroying Our Kids? How Moralism Suffocates Grace.

I write Beliefs of the Heart to help each of us recognize the hidden, false beliefs of our hearts that dis-empower us from living the lives God has for us. God calls to us to see the world through his eyes with his truth. We simply need to recognize his voice in our lives through Scripture; as as we recognize his voice there, we begin to hear it everywhere.

I am an orthodox believer. At least I want to be. Our cultural moments cloud our beliefs, so we must continually examine our current, fashionable beliefs—which are often unquestioned—in light of scriptural truth.

Here are some data points about my life:

  • My father was born in China to Pentecostal missionaries. My mother was born in a farming family in Kalispell, Montana.
  • Though sympathetic to the work of the Holy Spirit, my father disagreed with aspects of AOG theology. He became a Presbyterian and was a PCA pastor until his retirement in 1995. His last church was: http://www.westpca.com/.
  • I studied European Intellectual History, Philosophy, and Hebrew at the University of Michigan.
  • I served in missions overseas for three years and felt God say “not now.” So I moved back to Ann Arbor, Michigan and got a job at a software company. (There weren’t many jobs in 17th Century, European Intellectual history.)
  • With two partners, I bought the software company and worked there as an executive and Chief Product Manager for 25 years.
  • In 2007 I heard God call me to writing and speaking. I left the business world and began Beliefs of the Heart.
  • I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan with my wife Carla. We have four grown children and an ever increasing number of grandchildren.

You can contact me here: http://beliefsoftheheart.com/contact/

Sam

Beliefs and the Heart

Our lives are determined by what we most deeply believe. More influential than the economy, more powerful than our parents, more significant than our circumstances, it is what we believe that drives our lives:

  • One man thinks he can, and one man thinks he cannot. And they are both right (Henry Ford).
  • It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog (Mark Twain).
  • Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy (Margaret Thatcher).

The power of belief comes from deeply held, heart convictions.

The difference between intellectual beliefs (mere mental speculations) and the deeply held beliefs of the heart is the difference between an early DOS computer and Leonardo da Vinci. “One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man” (Elbert Hubbard).

We are those extraordinary people.

While deep beliefs determine our lives, few of us examine them. And so we live lives of confusion and desperation, wondering what happened as we aimlessly drift along in the current of convictions inflicted upon us by an unthinking world.

What is the controlling reality we live in? Is it the pejorative comments made by insensitive people? Or is it the hopeful reality Christ claims is true? “Men willingly believe what they wish” (Julius Caesar); let’s make that choice while conscious.

Many believers grasp sound doctrine in their heads, but their lives are filled with fear, anxiety, and despair. It’s due to unexamined beliefs of the heart. In our heads we believe God loves us, yet we live lives of quiet desperation, hoping God won’t be too angry, and hoping others won’t see the real us.

I write Beliefs of the Heart to help us Discover the unexplored convictions that drive us, and to Recover deep truths in the heart.

About the stories

The stories I tell are all true but details have been changed:

  • If I say I talked with a “man,” it may be a woman;
  • If I write, “Last week,” it may have happened ten years ago;
  • A “young man” may be old; a “friend” may have been a client; and a “client” may have been a close friend;
  • Some stories are an amalgam of two or three stories;
  • No story is about you (or someone you know) unless every story is.

If you think a story is literally about you, you are wrong. But if you recognize yourself in a story, I’m glad.

Please don’t ask me (or try to determine) who the story literally portrays. All the stories portray you and me. Every one. But none of them do so literally.

Sam Williamson

About some legal stuff

Beliefs of the Heart is a not-for-profit blog produced for the encouragement and inspiration (and maybe some conviction) of believers and anyone else who wants to read it. All content on this site is for entertainment and information purposes only.

Image Usage: Some images are posted without permission. No dissolution of copyright is intended. The images are presented solely for the entertainment and information of the readers of this blog. Please do not use any images from this site for commercial purposes.

 

I reserve the right to remove offensive, off-topic, or lengthy comments (see the Comment Policy page).

What do YOU think?

27 thoughts on “About Beliefs of the Heart

  1. Sam,
    Thanks for making this effort. I agree that this is the compelling question for us today…and you are on target with your words. Tim Keller is having a big impact in my heart and life these days as well. His trilogy is powerful. I spoke with a pastor the other day who suggested that he has never heard the parable of the prodigal son interpreted and explained the way Keller does it. And yet Keller is right, it is more about the older brother. Keep up the good work.

    • Hi Jeff, you are on my heart. Thanks for the encouragement. We are excited and humbled by the weekend this fall.

      Let’s pray for humility–we are worse than we dare admit–and confidence–we are more loved than we dare imagine.

  2. Sam,

    It is always my first reaction to turn to others to pour out my heart. Thank you for your teaching and reminder that we need to pour out our hearts to God who not only loves us but has the best answers!!! with prayers and love, Nancy

  3. Sam, Thanks so much for all you have given me this past weekend in Pa. And thank you for your heart for men to re-discover theirs. Lyle

  4. Sam,Thanks for making this effort. I agree that this is the compelling question for us today…and you are on target with your words. Tim Keller is having a big impact in my heart and life these days as well. His trilogy is powerful. I spoke with a pastor the other day who suggested that he has never heard the parable of the prodigal son interpreted and explained the way Keller does it. And yet Keller is right, it is more about the older brother. Keep up the good work.
    +1

  5. Hi Sam. I like this. Saw the link on David’s page. Good article on knowing menu vs eating. I agree with you. Perhaps you remember my fondness for eating. 🙂 Keep up the good work!

  6. I prefer the insight of Philip Cary in “Good News for Anxious Christians” where he states, ” Our heart is our mind…in ancient Hebrew there is no separate word for mind…in the Bible you feel and think in the same place…the New Testament never contrasts heart and mind as if they were rivals.”

    • Ken,
      Thanks for the suggestion. Yes, the Hebrew word for heart includes the mind, and that is hugely valuable for us to remember.

      That’s why the Deuteronomy passage (Love the Lord with heart, soul, and strength) is quoted with the addition in the gospels (Love the Lord with heart, MIND, soul, and strength).

      Thanks!

  7. Just found your blog and am really encouraged by what you’ve set out to do here. Thanks for writing! Looking forward to reading along. 🙂

  8. I just discovered your site! WOW! I love how you put it. I know grace runs down hill, but if I don’t preach the gospel to myself, I forget it. Like Scotty Smith says, “we continually leak grace.’

  9. Hi, I just visited your blog and I can connect with your themes. I couldn’t see whether you already have the Versatile Blogger Award, but if not and you would like to receive it, just visit my site and follow the instructions.

  10. Sam, on a totally different subject if that is ok with you. I remember listening to a sermon by you on the Woman at the Well and it spoke to be big time. This is poignant for me right now, i wonder if you could send me a written copy of that talk if that is not too much hassle or too inappropriate. I sense God calling me out of a Valley i have been in for a long time. Thank you brother. Could you send it to resistzeitgeist807@gmail.com IF this is ok with you. But if not no problems at all. The Lord Bless and keep you. Nigel Mohammed