25 And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”

I love the Hebrew language. I can’t say that I know a ton of Hebrew yet at this point in my life, but the little I do know about Hebrew I think is really fascinating, because it communicates something deeper and more meaningful about God that is helpful for us. It teaches us as we read it and encourages us to follow God more closely.

The Hebrew language is very active. Since there are so few words they have a much deeper meaning then many of our english words. For example, the Hebrew word, Shema, means hear, but in the Hebrew language it has a much fuller and richer meaning than to just simply perceive sound. It means to hear with obedience. To act upon what we hear and put it into practice.

I’m learning the value of this in my own walk with God. Hearing His word and putting it into practice with obedience. I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to truly walk in obedience in many areas of my life, but I’m glad that at least I’m getting there. For many years I would haphazardly throw up a prayer to God, or maybe not at all, then keep moving forward in my fear, lacking the true victory of God.

To believe anything different about Him other than victory is idolatry. It’s placing our own puny selves and our beliefs above an all mighty and powerful God. Friend, I don’t think that’s a good idea. At least, I’ve never seen that go well for me.

So wherever you find yourself today, realize that the problem isn’t your circumstances, what God did or didn’t do, but the real problem is you. Yes, there, I said it. The real problem isn’t those around you, but your unwillingness to walk forward in the victory of God. So friend, won’t you join me as I deal with the biggest sinner I know staring me back at me in the mirror? I long for her to not just hear the words of God, but to hear with obedience and faith.

Lord, I say that I trust you. I want to walk that out. I saw that you can work miracles- I want to walk that out too. Forgive me when my faith in weak. Help me to live in your truth in all things today, in Jesus name, Amen.

The Beauty of Stillness

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?….(Luke 6:41)

My daughter is always on the go. She almost never stops moving and has a hard time sitting still, even for just short periods of time. It is rare to see her sitting quietly and playing.

If I’m being honest, I know, without a doubt, she learned that from me. I’m not really saying that’s necessarily a good thing. Being still is something so essential to our growth as people, because when we learn to sit quietly we create space and opportunity to grow with others as we practice the simple ministry of presence.

I have to really discipline myself to sit still with my daughter on those rare occasions. Like when she’s watching one of her shows on the coach. There’s something so beautiful about nestling up to her little body, holding her close as we enjoy one another. There are times when I use that as an opportunity to get things done, but again, she seems me darting about, instead of sitting still. I have learned in life that there is always enough time to get the things done that I need to accomplish. Life is truly all about priorities and presence.

If I prioritize being present then I’ll make sure to sit still with my child instead of dart about the house. If I want her to learn the value of sitting still I can’t just expect her to do it, I have to show her how by the way I life my life. So friend, if you’re frustrated by something in your child’s life that isn’t changing, take a quick look in the mirror and asking yourself if it’s changing in you first.

When we prioritize our own sin and need for growth above our children’s they will too as they grow and mature. You might not see immediate fruit, but in time, you will. Simply stay the course and continue to submit your sin to Jesus and practice the ministry of presence, stillness, confession and redemption in your life first.

Father, I don’t want to pass on my unhealthy habits to my sweet girl. Help me God, to take my sin very seriously, to abhor it and run from it so that she runs from it too. Make me more like my Savior Jesus so that she seems Him in me, I pray, in Jesus name, Amen.

The Prayer God Honors

Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you….(Deut 3:22)

Becoming a mother is truly revealing some very deep things in my life that need to change. One of those issues is fear. I never knew how deeply it was rooted until my child came into my life. I can think back on her short life and how I’ve seen more time worrying about the bad things that could transpire more than I simply live in the freedom of being her mom.

I’ve been praying this simple prayer the past few days, “Lord, please show me when I sin, how I sin and why I sin, so that I might repent and be changed.”

Friend, God honors prayers like that and wow, He really does start to show us things. In fact, just yesterday, once again I was hit with the opportunity to be afraid and not trust God with my child. I noticed all of this and instead of simply saying that I trusted God, I made the conscious choice to change my thinking and walk a different direction.

It’s so easy to throw up a quick prayer of help to God, but keep walking down the same path of fear and anxiety, isn’t it? At least, that’s what I’ve found to be true for me. Therefore, the past few days I’ve made myself sit still with God and really wrestle out this fear and replace with trust and submission to Him. I’ve found so much more freedom in that, because what my daughter needs most is not a mother who worries but one who lives freely in her ability to show that God is trustworthy.

Whatever sins we deal with in ourselves will be the sins that break the cycle. I know that it has to start with me so that it doesn’t continue with her.

Father, I really can trust you. I don’t have to live in shame, fear or guilt. I can live fully alive in Christ and I want my daughter to see that in me, I pray, in Jesus name, Amen.

Sometimes I Just Think I’m Better Than People

I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance….(Luke 5:32)

Feeling right, better than or more put together has been an issue of mine for many years. It’s really just rooted in deep pride. I’m not sure why I’ve wrestled with this for so many years. God has certainly done a good work of grace and humbling in my life to strip this in me, but at times, especially in dealing with many relationships closest to me it rears it’s ugly head.

I can vividly remember being called out on this for the first time. I was fresh out of high school, just started following Jesus and was attending a Bible study in town. I was working as a softball umpire that summer and sharing how obnoxious and ridiculous softball coaches were and how I had put one coach in their place because I felt like they deserved it. After all, I knew better and I had to let these inept coaches know it.

One of the gentlemen in the study turned towards me and said, “Why not just let it go?”

I was stunned. I remember sitting there thinking, “Let it go!?! What?!? Is he out of his mind?!? And the audacity to call me out in front of everyone like that, embarrass me and put me in my place!?!”

Conceited people do not like to be corrected; they never ask for advice from those who are wiser (Proverbs 15:12)

I didn’t ask for the rebuke, but I needed it. It wouldn’t be until years later that I would become secure enough as a person to actually welcome correction into my life. Once I let go of my pride and insecurity over myself I genuinely started to change and now I let the entire world know of my struggles as I write each morning. I find freedom and connection in that with others who can relate as they walk with God an deal with the sin in their life too.

The more real we become, the less and less we need to be right because we see how wrong we are in and of ourselves. The less right I am, the more connected I become to real people. Yes, people who need the grace of God just as much as me. So today, I’m setting my pride aside because I feel it rising up against someone close to me. I don’t want to be so right that I push them away, because once I feel right, I just have to let them know about it. Which is really me just lecturing them instead of loving them and no one feels cared for by me when I can slip into that mode.

I’ve learned the value of listening, and paying attention to the needs of someone else because that’s what invites me into their life. That’s what opens the door for me to eventually say hard things, because they trust me and I’ve shown I care for them. So friend, if you can be a bit self-righteous in your sinful state, just like me, won’t you join me on this journey of humility and coming to the cross not as right, but as redeemed through Christ. Made new in His love so that you can share that same love and forgiveness with all mankind.

Lord I know how right I can be. I become so wrong when I start operating in this manner. Please forgive me and fill me with compassion, humility and grace instead, I pray, in Jesus name, Amen.

Trust The One Who Is Feeding You

Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house…..(Psalm 65:4)

My daughter really loves certain foods. As soon as it hits her tray she’s already saying, “more, more!” I have to remind her often that mommy will give her more after she’s eaten what she’s got. I’ve made the mistake of giving her a large amount all at once and she doesn’t understand the concept of eating one piece at a time.

It’s in those moments, when she’s adamantly asking for more that I wish she could see my heart for her. She doesn’t understand this now, but I would never let her go hungry. I would never let her go without. Even if it means my grocery bill keeps rising up and and up, I’ll do whatever it takes, as her mom to make sure she has what she needs.

Sometimes, after eating all of one food, she keeps asking for more of it. I try to explain to her that mommy has other food to give her and that it’s good food too. I want her to eat a balanced diet full of fun fruits, veggies and other healthy foods. That way she’ll grow to be healthy and strong. She just simply has to trust that my hand will always give her what she needs. Not necessarily what she wants.

Friend, God wants you to grow healthy and strong as well. His hand wants to feed you. He’d never let you go without. He may not be feeding you what you want right now, but He’s giving you what you need.

God has been feeding me humility over these past few years. Can I be honest? I don’t always like how it tastes. At times, I’d rather go back and live my life when things seemed great and I was living the good life (or so it seemed)

Trust me when I say this that I’ve been disappointed over what God kept serving me for lunch because just like the Israelites, I wanted to go back and eat all the things I used to feast on in the place of my captivity.

But, friend, that’s why you and I got fat with sin. That’s why our pride, fear and insecurity grew. We didn’t allow the Father to feed us His good things. We became impatient, ungrateful and demanded more. We loved sitting in the place of honor instead of giving up our seat to serve someone else.

More, more, more, Lord! And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Wherever life has you today, trust the one who is feeding you and be grateful for the food He’s given you. Even if you don’t like the taste of fruit and granola wrapped with a big dose of humility. Trust the Father, it’s what you need right now and be grateful that He doesn’t always give you what you want, but He always provides for you what you need.

Yes Lord, I can trust your hand. Thank you for being sufficient for me. Thank you for your grace. In Jesus name, Amen.

What is Your Life Shouting?

Moreover, demons came out of many people shouting, “You are the Son of God!”

My daughter has recently started shouting things at me. What she wants to listen to, play with, not do, you name it. She has found her lungs and she’s letting me know all about it.

I already had to place a lot of focus on her even when she wasn’t yelling, but now that she’s barking orders out at me, I really have to brace myself for impact and work to be a proactive parent in my correction of her.

You see, there’s something about shouting that grabs our attention more so than a whisper. That person, in their mind, has something to say that’s important to them and they really don’t want you to miss it. In my child’s case it might be shouting about wanting to listen to the wheels on the bus for the 78th time in a row, but, by golly, she’s gonna let you know!

As Jesus was making His way around the Galilee He was healing those with sickness and disease and those possessed by demons. As the demons left those whom they had taunted and inhabited they shouted, “You are the Son of God!”

Friend, I have a question, what does your soul shout? Is it something similar? Is your life so devoted to Him that if people caught you shouting that’s what it would be all about?

It disturbs me to think they’d finding me shouting about anything else; a vaccine, no vaccine, a political party, a personal agenda or a love for all of my hobbies.

I want them to hear Jesus when they see my face. Friend, if He’s only a whisper in your life, is He truly Lord of all? That’s the simple question I have for you today. Won’t you join with me and start proclaiming His love to the world? I really think all this shouting we’re doing at one another in our world’s current crisis is solving absolutely nothing, but prayer and pointing people to Christ can change things. I think I’ll start proclaiming that instead.

Thank you Father for your mercies that are new every morning. Thank you for the love of God that sets us free. I long to proclaim it and shout it from the rooftops that Jesus saves! Yes Lord, you save, so let my life reflect that love in Jesus name, Amen.

I Repented of My Lack of Trust in God

When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time….(Luke 4:13)

The enemy knows where to push my buttons when it comes to living in fear and worry about my child. My journey on this has been getting past one thing I fear only to be hit with something new that the devil tries to twist around in my head, causing me to live not in faith, but in fear.

The other day I reached to a friend, asking them for prayer about this because I realized that this journey was going to keep happening in my life until I truly submitted her, my fears and really placed myself in God’s hands. My issue wasn’t the things I feared, it was my lack of faith and trust in God. Because you see, the Spirit would whisper one thing to me, but I just didn’t submit myself too it. I would still let worry creep in and hold me captive to the freedom of God.

So I made the choice to change my thinking. I repented of failing the test many, many times before in regards to trusting God with my child and I keep choosing, time and time again, when my buttons get pressed to trust God. Yes, I’m choosing to really listen to His voice and yes, I’m disciplining myself to really give her over and believe in faith that I can trust the voice of God in my life. Then, lean into the peace that He grants me, instead of the fear that attempts to drive me away from the love of God.

Father, I trust you. I know that I say that often, but I really want to live that now, in faith, in Jesus name, Amen.

What Our World Needs Most Right Now

Yes, my soul, find rest in God, my hope comes from him….(Psalm 62:5)

In a world filled with constant calamity what we need most is rest in God. There are many things taking place outside of our control. We’re still living in the midst of a pandemic, along with many, many other struggles taking place around us. It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos and start being controlled by fear instead of resting in God.

When my daughter sits still with me, it brings me great joy. It is good for me to have her near me. To feel the warmth of her heart nestled next to mine. There’s peace that we share together in that moment when she sits still long enough to let me embrace her.

Friend, this current chaos in our world, it just isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The good news is that God isn’t going anywhere either. He’s here, waiting for us to find rest in Him. Truly, we cannot worry about tomorrow or even today. It will rob us of the joy and peace that is ours if we’d simply be willing to sit still with Him.

That’s the only true way out of this pandemic. It’s not an answer found from within something man can do for us. The answer is found in the eternal being who waits for us to meet with Him, so that even if we are struck with sickness, disease or some other struggle, we can find the peace we need in knowing that God sees all things and that He is good. For that, dear friends, we can truly rest in Him and praise Him. Won’t you join me?

Lord, thank you for your love. Truly, it is all that we need in this life. You are the joy and delight of our hearts. May we always be resting safe and secure in your love. Be our hope in this crazy world, we pray, in Jesus name, Amen.

Try This If You Want To Make A Greater Impact

A kindhearted woman gains honor….(Pr 11:16).

I used to think in ministry what kids need most was someone who was a good leader. Someone who could boldly share Jesus with them and rally them around something greater than themselves. Although I do believe that’s still important. I don’t believe it’s the most valuable thing I can focus on in relating with teens.

I believe now what they need more than some great outspoken leader is someone who leads with true, quiet and genuine kindness. Yes, those are the people they are drawn to most. People who are soft, inviting and kind. Now, I’m not sure I’ll ever be a soft and gentle as some people who I’ve met, but I know I want to keep growing to be like them. I want my life to reflect His love in such a way that teens and even adults aren’t drawn to me because of my great upfront leadership, but because of my kindness.

After all, it is God’s kindness that draws us to repentance.

I have a friend like this. She is so soft and gentle, so loving and kind. I trust her because of that. I think when we become people who are kind, we become people who can be more easily trusted.

So friend, if you want to make a true difference in God’s kingdom- be kind. It’s a great first place to start.

Lord, thank you for your kindness. You are so good. I want to be kind like you are kind. Make me more like you each day, I pray, in Jesus name, Amen.

Human Help is Worthless

Give us aid against the enemy, for human help is worthless….(Psalm 62:11)

I used to look to people to rescue me and get me out of situations. I would think to myself, “If they would just do this, that will change this situation or make it better!” In many ways, I still do that today. Not to the same degree, but I still place a lot of trust and hope in things outside of my control, hoping they bring me a sense of safety and security, but what I’m starting to realize is that once I get past the one thing that I feared, the enemy just starts to weave a new message of fear or shame in my heart. Telling myself I should have done things differently and had I, things wouldn’t have the potential to turn out the way that they could.

Did you catch that? The potential, yes I often fear things that haven’t even happened yet, but are things the enemy tries to convince me will. I often take the blame for it or look for someone else to blame in it. I have a hard time accepting that maybe God is working in my situation, even if things don’t turn out all that great. So that He can bring me to a deeper place of abiding and trust in Him.

A dear friend said to me yesterday, “Heather, sometimes things do happen when we don’t want them to, because God wants to provide for us a different way than we expected.” I know that’s true, because I’ve lived it, but for some reason there’s this little twinge of doubt in the back of my mind that says, “Ok, but what if He doesn’t?”

I believe what God is showing me through some of my present circumstances is that there’s a deeper place of healing He’s trying to get me to, so I’m submitting each fear to Him, moment by moment so I can find the grace that I need from Him. No longer allowing the enemy to wrap fear around my heart and mind, but allowing His Spirit to write a new song in my heart and mind as I look to Him as my help, provider and strength. Knowing that He is good, even if what I fear happens does actually take place.

Lord, you have always shown yourself to be trustworthy and good. Why would I ever doubt your love. Your mercies are new for me every morning. That is good news. May I trust in those mercies each and every moment of the day, in Jesus name, Amen.