Wednesday, May 1, 2013

05/01/13 - Lessons from the Golden Calf

I am too much like the stubborn people who built the "golden calf" in Exodus 32, are you?

In verse 1 we see the people going to their leader, "Up, make us a gods...." Instead of trusting their leader they grew impatient and demanding. How often do I look to my leader to be at my beckoning call? I want to guide and lead, instead of trusting the beautiful line of authority God established. 

Then the people go on complaining about their leader to another leader. This caused division! 

Aaron, then went on to "appease" these stubborn people by telling them to give him all their gold.

Now think about it, these people are in the desert and he asks for their possessions of gold. Verse 2 says, "Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives..." Gold, this fine, precious metal is what the people give up because they aren't willing to wait on God.

What do I give up because I grow impatient on God's timing? How often do we run ahead of God, willing to give up precious things, because His timing is not YOUR timing! I've seen people race ahead of God and marry a non-believer because they don't want to wait on God's timing. 

After Aaron build the calf the first thing they say, "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!" vs. 4. Are you kidding me?!? Did they forget that the Red Sea parted? Did they forget how God brought 10 plagues? 

How often do we forget God's faithfulness when we are in a season of waiting? We must reflect and remember His goodness to avoid carving our own "golden calf'". 

Aaron went on to build an alter to the Lord and proclaimed they would have a feast to the Lord. Here we see mixing idol worship, with worship of the Lord. Oh, yes friends, we can be in church "worshiping" God, yet clinging to our idols. This is not worship of the Lord, you can't have both, you must choose! 

After their "worship" service they got up "to play" (vs. 6). Really!?! They are flat out disobeying God and they just want to play!? Do we "play" Christian? Do we go on Sunday, but by Monday we are worshiping the idol of self? Do we claim to have faith, yet "play" with the things of this world?

We see God tells Moses to go back to the people and Moses gets so mad at the people he breaks the first set of the Ten Commandments! In Chapter 34 Moses makes new tablets and the Lord proclaims in verse 6-7: "The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgressions and sin..." 

What grace! What love! 

But God adds to Moses that: "You shall not make for yourself any gods of cast metal." 

There is more to take from this story, but as I read this morning these thoughts just jumped at me! 




Tuesday, April 30, 2013

04/30/13 Thrive: The Single Life as God Intended

I am excited to have a give-away of a new book called: Thrive: The Single Life as God Intended by Lina Abujamra .

Lina is a single ER doctor who is the Women's Ministry Director at Harvest Bible Chapel, she blogs (at a few sites including True Woman and Lies Young Women Believe), she teaches the bible on Tuesday night (you can download her podcasts: Living with Power). 

One thing I appreciate about Lina is she doesn't mince words and delivers the gospel with a power punch! Her first book: Thrive, is a blueprint for thriving as a single through the lens of scripture and what I love is Lina is thriving as a 40 year old single woman (well she just had birthday, so 41 year old...but who's counting!)

To win a copy of Thrive leave a comment or question for Lina, here or on the Emotional Purity Facebook page and I will draw the winners on Monday, May 6! 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Complete Take-Over

When Christ comes into our life, He doesn't want to have co-ownership, He comes for a complete take-over.




He wants our:

  • body
  • thoughts
  • money
  • relationships
  • time
  • talents
  • gifts
  • hearts
  • schedule
  • eyes
  • work
  • motives
  • attitudes
  • homes
  • future
  • education
  • ears
  • desires
  • mouths
  • dreams
  • EVERYTHING

Do we live in light of this? Do we surrender all to Him? 

What needs to change in your life today? What do you need to repent of clinging too and not giving to Christ? Don't delay. Give it to the Captain of your Life!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Distractions

Life is full of distractions.

You know what your distractions are, I don't have to tell you.

I've been battling my own distractions. 

When my distractions (not sinful things, just things that take my eyes off the priorities in my life) rule, I realized I have: less joy, less patience, more self-focus, and feel distant from my Savior. Makes me spiritually dry!

I must lay aside what distracts me, run hard after Christ, and fix my gaze upon Him.

Just acknowledging that caused a wave of peace to wash me and revive me. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Selfisness

We live in a culture saturated by self. 

We self protect. We live for self. We have messages that bombard us saying, "Care for self! No one else will!" Me, Me, Me!

We say we have to create our own identities. We have to make time for self. We have to protect self.

We say that if someone is offended by you, it's their problem because self is protected. 

The thing about these messages is there's an element of truth. But we've gone to far!

As a follower of Christ we are commanded to give away self, to die to self, and to lay self aside. We can not serve both self and Christ! We must choose. 

Self needs to die. 

Selfishness gets bumped into all day long! How do you respond? Does Christ spill out of you? Or does self rear it's ugly head?

Oh friends, lay self aside. Seek to serve Christ and be the hands, feet, and heart of Christ to those around you. Seek your identity in Him and in Him alone. Ask for wisdom to see the lies the culture sells! You will have joy like you have never experienced before. 

This is my prayer for my own heart and for yours as well!


Monday, February 11, 2013

Daily Bible Challenge

I had the awesome privilege of sharing my testimony on Revive our Hearts last month. Last year I took the "daily bible reading challenge" and I share how reading the bible every day in 2012 changed my life!

Take a listen: Your Personal Bible Reading Challenge

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I am guilty!

Yesterday I posted about "noise" and you know what: I am guilty of adding noise into your life!

So I have to ask, "Am I pointing people to Jesus Christ and Him crucified or am I pointing you to my thoughts and advice?" "Am I pointing people to repentance and faith in Jesus or am I a loud gong?" "Do I balance love and truth?"

If I am bringing attention to myself, then I am noise. Forgive me!

If I am bringing glory to God, then I pray I encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, and admonish the idle. (1 Thess. 5:14)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Noise

Have you ever taken one day to pay attention to the noise around you?

Podcasts, pandora, Wii, movies, websites, radio, restaurant music, mall music, kids, coworkers, traffic, and sirens blare! Then social media, blogs, pinterest, email, and text message provide more mental noise, advice, and static (at times). 

We stay distracted, busy, and always peering into the lives of other people. 

During my Facebook break I have realized how overly saturated I've been with noise. Noise that invades space. Noise that invades peace. 

Seeking the One thing that brings lasting peace and joy can be hard to "hear" in all the noise. 

Before I took the plunge and de-activated my Facebook page, I prayed that God would revel anything that was keeping me distracted from Him. This break has been good and I feel like I have more processing to do before I re-join the social media world of Facebook. 

I want the noise and advice of the world to be quiet, so I can hear, more clearly the voice of my Beloved Savior. 


Monday, February 4, 2013

Facebook Break

Here I just post for you to find me on Facebook and Saturday I decided I needed to de-activate my account and take a break.

This break was a couple weeks, maybe a couple of months, okay, maybe a couple of years in the making.

At times I find myself wrapped up in drama by what is posted on Facebook. I see posts from people who I think, "Don't they know better." "Don't they see how they are being entertained by worthless noise!?"

Then I feel judgmental and I don't want to be prideful. 

So I have unsubscribed to so many people to just avoid that critical heart which comes way too easily for me. (Yes, it's my issues to work on!)

But last week a photo was circulated that was just "worthless chaff", but it seemed I was alone in thinking the picture was not funny at all. 

My heart just broke as this picture was shared by many and people just "LOL" at it. 

This picture was not God-glorifying, but glorified self. It was a slam on male/female relationships and it did, in no way lead people to the cross, but to self. 

But I felt like I was being too sensitive, perhaps. 

So I took a Facebook break to re-calibrate my heart. To decided if I am "in a Christian bubble" or if I am "guarding my heart"?

I desire deeply to be a "tree firmly planted" that is guided and directed soloing by the Word of God. I want the smile of God on my face. I want to please Him. 

I am still tweeting, I find twitter to be a bit safer and not filled with as much useless posts: https://twitter.com/HeatherArnel

I'd love your thoughts! Really! Share away!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Digging Deep

If I had a word for 2013 so far it would "study". 

So far in 2013 I've been digging deeply into God's word. 

In 2012 I committed to read the bible every day and I actually accomplished my goal!

This year I wanted to take it to a deeper level! 

I've come to see that the more you are in God's Word, the more you think biblically. You filter your thoughts, attitudes, actions through the bible. 

Friends, I hope you are taking time each day to read God's word!

If you want to be encouraged, I post almost day on "Emotional Purity Facebook Page". I desire to see people to get radical for Christ, to dig into His word, and live out a surrendered life! Join me over there! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

OneCry

Are you sad about the outcome of the election? Then DO something about it! Print this booklet from OneCry called: Draw a Circle. And draw the circle of revival around YOU!

Start with YOURSELF:
Get rid of hidden, secret sin!
Forgive! 
Let go of bitterness!
Love your neighbor!
Stop trying to control your family!
Stop living with the entitlement mentality!
Stop living in sexual sin!
Let go of greed!
Humble yourself!
Repent!
Stop being critical of others!
Lay aside gossip and slander!
Respect authority!
Help the poor!
Serve the widow!
Take care of the orphan!

Above all love God with all your heart, your soul, your mind, and your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself!

Don't look to government to save us...God revive us and start with me! Will you join me!?! Print the "Draw the Circle" booklet and cry to God for revival!

Are you desperate enough to radically obey! Holy Spirit help us obey!

Monday, October 22, 2012

10/22/12 - Authority

Our culture is anti-authority!

We scoff at anyone telling us what we can or can not do!

We despise the line authority God established.

Because we are so anti-authority in our culture we question the full authority of the bible. We fall into the trap of those that question God's Word without much backlash, because after all would God really say that, or did He really mean that? We have set ourselves up as "the authority" in our life, so we can use His word like a buffet, taking what we like, leaving the rest behind. We choose what we want to obey and what we don't! After all, if the Bible isn't the final authority it doesn't really matter!

Because of this pervasive anti-authority issue in our culture many believers are living lives with one foot in the world, one in God's kingdom. Their theology is wimpy, so they are wimpy. Their view of God is wimpy. Therefore they view themselves through this distorted picture. 

Because of this culture balking at authority we are critical of our pastors and elders, figuring out ways to go around their authority. We talk about our bosses behind their backs thinking they aren't that good of leaders anyway! We storm off when our parents set any type of boundaries in our life, rolling our eyes and disregarding their authority. We manipulate our husbands and chide their authority in our life. 

Oh friends may this not represent our lives! May we fully embrace the wonderful, freeing authority God has established! May we always be mindful of honoring and respecting those that God placed as our authority. May we lay down pride thinking we are our final authority and bow our knee to the King of king and Lord of lords!

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the way of the wicked, nor stand in the path of the sinner, nor sit in the seat of scoffers. BUT his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates both day and night. Ps. 1:1-2

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

10/3/12 -Life

Hello readers!

I am around, just not much blogging here lately.

I try to post on Emotional Purity Facebook page almost daily! My hope it to encourage people to walk in humility, brokenness, and honestly before their Lord. To seek to be revived and seek to live the gospel in their every day lives!

Hope you join me over there! 

If you have a blog topic you'd like me to write on, please share!

Also, I am blogging over at Beyond Bath Time! It's been fun encouraging moms!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

08/23/12 - Hardening our Hearts

This morning my bible reading lead me to Psalms 95...here's just verse 6 to 8

"Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.
Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts..."

I was stopped at "do not harden your hearts"!

How often do we harden our hearts by ignore the conviction of the Holy Spirit? How often do we avoid doing the hard things God is calling us to do?

Oh may our hearts be soft to the voice of God in our life and may be keep ourselves humble under His mighty hand!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

08/22/12 - Only 29 days!

I hope you can join me from True Woman 2012 as we seek God together from spiritual renewal!

Register at True Woman 12!

Leave a comment if you are already planning on coming! 

Blessings! 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

08/02/12 - Christian Marriage

If you've keeping up with what's happening in the cultural wars this week you know that marriage has been a HOT topic!


We may hold to the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman, but let's us look at the Church in regard to marriage over the last decades, by asking questions.


Do Christian marriages reflect Christ and the church to a watching world?


Are Christians thriving in their marriages, or just merely surviving (living as roommates)?


How many couples in your local body of believers have been divorced in the past 5 years?


Does your church have a solid marriage ministry where couples are encouraged to display the gospel in their marriages?


Do you think the Church displays the beauty of manhood and womanhood?


Marriage, family, and gender have been under attack in our culture for 40 years! Let's start with our marriages to turn the tide!


Understand your role! Live out the gospel! Thrive in YOUR marriage!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

07/21/12 - Quiet Time

Over the past couple of years I've asked people who are struggling with a consistent quiet time, "Has anyone sat you down and shown you how to have a quiet time?"

I will be the first to say there is no formula to a time with God. There's no right or wrong way! There's no perfect way...but having someone show you how they do can be extremely helpful!

For example some think that your quiet time has to be just that, quiet! Well that's not always possible! Some think quiet time has to be a full 30 minutes or it doesn't count! Some even think that there's a certain amount that has to be read in order to qualify as a quiet time! Some don't realize a simple reading plan could greatly enhance those times with God!

My quiet times have looked different in different seasons of my life.

But the one constant...seeking God!

If you are struggling with a consistent quiet time start asking people, "What does your quiet time look like?" "How much do you read?" "Do you have a reading plan?"

And maybe if you're comfortable with them ask them to observe their quiet time...it may help in your own personal devotional life!

The more you are in Truth for yourself, the more you see the lies all around us!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

06/30/12 - Worldview

We all have a worldview: you, me, your friends, your family, we all have a worldview.


Worldview is a certain view you take on the world around you. A certain philosophy on life!


A worldview is like a pair of tinted glasses, let me explain.


Let's say I hand you a pair of yellow lens colored sunglasses. When you put them on you can only view the things around you with a yellow shade. Everything you see and view is effected by the yellow glasses. You can't see anything without a hue of yellow! 


So is a worldview!


Your worldview will tint everything you see! Everything!


How you view education, marriage, family, relationships, conflict, work, media choices, recreational activities, church, ministry, money, and everything else you do or think is effected by your worldview.


This is why it's so important to understand the culture is SCREAMING it's worldview at you! It's telling you to put on it's sunglasses and view the world through it's lens!


The culture's worldview stands in near completely opposition to a biblical worldview.


As followers of Christ we must seek to find the biblical worldview. To do this we have to be in God's word and seek hard after truth. The more we see through a biblical worldview, the easier it is to spot the worldviews the culture wants you to believe is truth. 


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

06/26/12 - Clothes

What's modest? What's not modest? Does it matter? Does it cause someone to stumble? 


So many blogs, articles, and opinions about modesty! 


Oh I have them...opinions that is!


But the more I think about modesty I think of 2 things:


1) Modesty is an issue of the heart. A woman who is Christ-centered will have a heart that longs to exult Him. She won't use her clothes to get attention. 


2) My clothes need to point people to the gospel and make the gospel evident in my life. I don't want me clothes to tarnish the gospel and the work of Christ in my life at all.


We live in a culture that needs to see God's people acting, living, dressing in a way that is completely consistent with the fact that we are God's Royalty! We are sons and daughters of the King! 


When our heart is submitted to the King and when we are behaving in a way that honors the King we serve, the question of what is modesty or what is not modest will not be what we ask.


We will ask: Does this make more of Christ or more of myself? Does this point people to Him or to me? Does this display the gospel or does this display my idol of self? Is this attractive or does this attract unwanted attention? 


As the temps warm up don't do a too low, too short check (although that can be helpful) but do a heart check!

Friday, June 15, 2012

06/15/12 - Laughing At Winter

My mom has set out on a journey.


Some of her family members have walked away from the Lord in their 70's and 80's. This has caused her to ask, "What is the key to walking faithfully to the very end of life?"


She's begun interviewing older women, women in their 70's and 80's to find out how they have stay the course. 


We need to look to the gray haired faithful women of the faith and learn from them. 


Check out my mom's blog: Laughing At Winter

Thursday, June 7, 2012

06/07/12 - Fear vs. Faith

Are you being controlled by fear?

Or are you being controlled by faith?


If you are being controlled by fear you will become judgmental, prideful, critical, scared, box God in, and point your finger at those not "doing" what you think they should be doing.


See when you are controlled by fear you will think a formula will keep you pure. You will think that if you do X, Y and Z, than you will be pure!


When you are walking in step with the Holy Spirit, you may look, externally, like a person who is being motivated by fear, but your heart will be humble, peaceful, looking for the way God is going to move, and smile at what is to come. 


You will know God's plan is the best. You will know that God is moving and working in ways you can't see. You will know that God works differently for His different children. 


God is not a god of fear or confusion...but a God of peace and can be wholly trusted!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

06/05/12 - Email

I always enjoy hearing from readers! These types of emails bless me more than you know!


"Hi Mrs. Heather, 

I just wanted to thank you so much for your book Emotional Purity and all that it means to me. I am sure that you get emails like this all the time but this book is truly amazing. It is my favorite book (outside of the bible). I have read many books on purity but have never read one that touched me so deeply and really hit home for me. In fact, I just finished reading the book through for the third time.

A year and a half ago your book, along with the hand of God, helped me get out of an emotional relationship that had been battling in my head for some time. After I got out of my 'relationship' (it was only in my head) the Lord placed a group of girls for me to share my testimony with. He continues to give me a platform and although I am very thankful I never would have guessed I would have been here nor have I asked for the platform. I am only 18 and while many of the girls God has sent my way are my age some are older and younger as well.

I have told so many people about your book and tonight will be finishing a girls bible study where we went through your book chapter by chapter discussing how we can apply the principles to our lives.

I am continuing to find that purity is not a black and white concept but that you have to have an open mind about it and if not you miss out on the greatest ministry and learning opportunities. I am continuing to ask people around me, who have gone through relationships, for advice. Gathering information so that I am equipped for when the day comes for me. In fact I have already had to explain to a few young men that I do not date although they looked at me funny I feel again that they Lord used it to minister to the young men. I've also found so much freedom by sharing with my parents little things, even though it was hard at first.

Again thank you so much for the encouragement you have already given!"



Emotional Purity was first published 11 years ago and it blows my mind that God is still using it to challenge and encourage young men and women!

To God be the glor
y!

Friday, May 25, 2012

05/25/12 - The Voice of God

Yesterday I started Discerning the Voice of God, by Priscilla Shirer. As I read it reminded me of advice I've given young women who are single.


I am often asked, "How do you know God's will in regard to marriage?"


Lately my reply has been, "Learn to hear and know the 'voice' of God in your life. He speaks to each of us differently and when you can hear His voice, that assurance will be the guide to follow the green light or stop if there's a red light (or red flags!)."


This book is what I'd recommend if you want to know the different ways that God "speaks". 


If you are single you have a chance to get to know God with an undivided heart and attention. Take FULL advantage of that! When life gets busier, and noisier (with kids ;-) ) you'll know how He gets your attention and you'll be able to hear His voice over the noise of life! 


Cultivate a deep, intimate relationship with your Creator! Ask Him to make Himself known to you in a new, fresh, powerful way today! 


Praying for you today! Hugs!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

05/22/12 - Audience of One

Lately that phrase "audience of One" has played over and over in my head.


Being misunderstood, criticized, words twisted, mistreated, or slandered for speaking the truth can be painful. We may want to retreat. We may want to defend. We may want to clarify.


But those are all reactions to having the fear of man.


We must not worry what others think of us.


Yes, we should engage and dialog but our goal isn't to satisfy their tickling ears, but please the One that really matters.


Galatians 1:10 For am I seeking the approval of man or of God?


Live, breathe, and move for the audience of One!

Monday, May 21, 2012

05/21/12 - Clinging

What are you clinging too?
Are you clinging to rules to keep your way pure?
Are you clinging to fear?
Are you clinging to control?
Are you clinging to pride?


We can cling to all of those things in the mask of being "pure".


But we should be clinging to the cross. Looking to the self-sacrificing work of Jesus on the cross.


Anytime we try to put man-made rules on being "righteous" we will fail!


We're warned about this in Colossians 2:20-23


20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21  “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they areof no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.


If you have no heart for purity and are "following" the rules, although they may appear wise, they will not address the idols of your heart!


Get the heart of purity. Where Christ is!



Monday, May 14, 2012

05/14/12 - It's a LIE!

Friends, have we bought the lie?


The lie that says that in order to be happy we have to focus on self? We have to become a better us? We have to seek our own identity. 


See our culture breeds this mindset. It says we have to get for ourselves that which no one else will give us! 


This is simply NOT TRUE!


As believers in God we are called to lay it all down at the foot of the cross. We are called to let God direct our steps. We are called to live our lives crucified with Christ. We're called to deny self! We are called to be God-centered, not me-centered. 


But too many of us believers have bought the lie. Thus we spin our wheels, seeking to make us happy, and to maintain our own personal identity! 


Friends this is a lie!


We are called to seek the cross, to live for Him, to develop for His glory, to reflect Him in EVERYTHING we do, and to not be self-seeking at all!


And want to know what's amazing? That when we seek to please Him above all: He gives us the deepest desires of our heart! He gives us our identity. He brings us deep joy and happiness!


Beloved friends please don't listen to the lie! 

Friday, May 11, 2012

05/11/12 - Slammed Door

As I reflect back over the years of walking with Christ I've realized I've had a few slammed doors. 


The first one I can really remember was in 1997. I had applied for a job with Focus on the Family. It was a perfect fit for me and on paper I had everything they would have been looking for. But I didn't even get an interview! Slam!


My other option, at the time, was to move back home with my parents. It was from my time at home that I had the time and freedom to write Emotional Purity.


As the saying goes, "hindsight is 20/20"!


I've had other slammed doors along the way, but every time those slammed doors lead to an open door that is FAR better than had I walked or pushed my way through the slammed door.


I am thankful for slammed doors...they are normally a sign that God has something much better for me than I could have thought or imagined.


Maybe you've had a slammed door recently: a job, a relationship, a college acceptance, a ministry opportunity, or a host of other things could have slammed in your face. Maybe you're reeling with frustration and lots of questions!  


But keep obey God, keep your heart pure, keep seeking Him above, keep reflecting His glory, and watch how His plan, His open door is far better than that slammed door in your past!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

05/09/12 - Facebook Page

I've been trying to interact with my readers on a more daily basis on the Emotional Purity Facebook page. I'd love if you'd join me over there and interact with me as we run hard after Christ together!


I will still blog, but these days...with homeschooling the boys, being a wife, the newlywed ministry we're doing, hospitality, and other ministry opportunities...I just don't have as much time to blog. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

04/25/12 - Only Christ

My mom posted this on Facebook and thought it was worth sharing!


We need Christ! Not relaxation, not chocolate, not chatting with friends, not crafting, not shopping, not more sleep, not a better husband, not more involvement in ministry, not more money, not better children, not a diet, not a new car, not date night...not anything. Although all these things are good, enjoyable and a gift from God and His good will and pleasure towards us. What we need is Christ, resting in Him, time with Him, knowing who we are in Him, Christ alone!!



Friday, April 13, 2012

04/13/12 - OneCry

My heart is burning for revival! Revival in me, in my marriage, in my family, in my church, in my community, and in this nation.

Does your heart burn for revival? Then join a nation wide call to spiritual awakening called OneCry!

Will you join me in praying for revival?

Revive us Lord, and start with me!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

04/10/12 - God's Ambassadors

In 1998 I visited a friend in New Jersey for a long weekend. We visited her church that Sunday morning and a group from Jews for Jesus were there. They gave a fascinating presentation of their ministry and the impact they were having for the gospel among Jews.

 After the presentation I went to speak to one of the young men. As he spoke to me I felt like he wasn't really interested in sharing any more with me. As we spoke he looked around at other people and just gave short answers. It just left me with an unpleasant taste in my mouth.

 Later that Sunday night a group of the singles from my friends church went downtown New York to a swing dance club. This man from Jews for Jesus came with us and spent the night flirting with and eventually making out with one of the single girls from my friends church.

 Here 14 years later I still remember this event...why, because for 14 years I've had a bad taste in my mouth for the ministry of Jews for Jesus.

 On Good Friday a man from Jews for Jesus came to do a presentation at our city wide service. It was then that this memory flooded my mind of my trip to New York. I realized that for all these years when I think of Jews for Jesus, I think of this young man.

He was an ambassador for the ministry. We're God's ambassadors. We're to represent Him to those around us. Yes, I realize this young man may not have realized the impact he was having on me...but do we ever know the full impact of our actions with others?

 If we're the only Christ followers someone comes in contact with, what will they think of God? What will they think of His ambassadors? Will we leave a "bad taste" for Christians in their memory?

 Let us always be mindful that we are God's ambassadors! We're called to represent Him to all we come in contact with. Only through His Spirit can we shine His light to those we meet. Let us make much of Him!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

03/27/12 - Thinking Like a Christ Follower

‎"Take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ" 2 Cor. 10:5
"Set your mind on things above" Col. 3:2
"Prepare your minds for action." 1 Peter 1:13

Christ cares about our thoughts. He cares about what we think about.

Have you re-calibrated your thoughts to that of Christ? Do you filter your thoughts through a Christian worldview?

Have you allowed the Holy Spirit to illuminate anything you're letting in your mind and point out if this will lead you down the path of sin or holiness?

Fix your mind on Christ...give satan no room to taunt you with lies!

Friday, March 16, 2012

03/16/12 - Walking in the Light

1 John 1:7: If we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

This verse has just gone round and round in my mind. What a revival verse!

If we walk in the Light...if we walk without hidden sin. If we walk without shadows of sin in our life. If we walk in honest, open, transparency with those we're closest too, God says we'll have fellowship.

We'll have a closeness that comes from walking without secrets.

Then, once we walk with the "walls down with others and the roof off with God" we have the promise of a cleansing!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

03/15/12 - The Porn Path

My heart is deeply burdened for young men who get trapped in the pull of porn. Over the last month or so I've studied more the effects of porn on men. It's mind blowing when you realize that viewing porn creates a chemical reaction in your brain that is very similar to drugs.

In The Porn Path, Mark Driscoll lays out the way the brain produces a pathway to desire porn. It becomes an addiction that one must see more or do more to get the same high. So it may start off very innocently, but grows overtime.

An addiction to porn will destroy marriages, if one stays on the path.

Even if a man breaks his addiction those images are there, burned in the brain. It is poison in a marriage. It breaks the oneness a man and woman are to experience.

There are groups, such as Celebrate Recovery, that are there to help Christian men break their sexual addiction.

Break the silence, reach out for help, and don't stop until you're walking in the light with your sin.

Confess to your wife, ask your husband...get painfully honest with this topic. An addiction to porn may be a "fox in your vineyard" of your marriage. It may be the tumor that is killing your marriage. It may be in stage one of cancer, but will grow to stage four!

Get radical to get sin out of your life! Get some strong accountability and walk in fellowship with others who will hold you up!

If you're a young man the internet is a big pool of temptation...get some accountability by installing some type of program that alerts another person when you've visited porn on your computer. Parents, put up some safeguards on your computers.

Parents also be aware that the newest fade in relationships is young women sending naked pictures to their boyfriends! I heard of a case where a good, Christian, 13 year old girl was just caught sending a naked picture of herself to a boy at school.

Please don't bury your head in the sand. We must take a stand against porn and save future marriages!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

03/14/12- Intentionality in Priorities

Your husband calls you, “Honey, we’re moving in a month and we only have a truck that is 10 feet by 10 feet to take all our stuff in!” After you get over the shock of his words, you start packing, with great care, what will fit in that 10x10 truck.

Do you think you’d take those college text books that are 14 years old? Would those old prom dresses come with?

Chances are you’d start with what is important. You’d take the things that are of the highest priorities. And with extra space take things less important.

Each day we wake up with about 12 to 15 hours to accomplish what needs to be done: caring for children, keeping up with a house, cultivating a relationship with God, maintaining a healthy marriage, ministry, friends, mental down time, exercise, work, and a host of other things scream at us: “I am of TOP priority!!! Focus on ME!”

If we’re not intentional with what are the top priorities for us, in the season of life we’re in, we’ll feel like we’re trying to cram everything into a 10x10 space. We’ll be left frustrated, exhausted, and defeated. However, when you write out the top 5 things in your life that are of highest priorities, make sure those things happen and then fit in whatever else you can, you will feel like you’re able to get done those things of most important to you!

Take some time and write out what would be your top 5 priorities (may have to do this daily or weekly), fit those in your calendar, and don’t stress (too much) about the rest!

Friday, March 9, 2012

03/09/12 - True Woman Testimony

In 2008 I attended my first True Woman conference. I was excited because of the speakers, but I had no idea how God would use that weekend to set me on a new path in my walk with Christ.

October 9, 2008, my 34th birthday, and the first night of the conference. If you would have asked me before I went, I would have told you that I wasn’t a feminist. I would have said that I’ve embraced biblical womanhood…but when Mary Kassian spoke on Friday morning it rocked my thinking!

I was a feminist! The culture had infiltrated my mind way more that I cared to admit. God had some foundational repair to do in my thinking.

At the end of the weekend I was more than thrilled to sign the True Woman Manifesto and with gusto I took this message back to my church and girlfriends. (I even laminated my manifesto and it still is hung next to my kitchen sink!)

But I found out that most my friends weren’t interested in my approach. I felt like I was hitting brick walls and eventually just got frustrated with even trying to talk about biblical womanhood. (Insert Heather not following the Holy Spirit!!)

By the time True Woman 2010 rolled around I was beyond excited to meet with other like minded women. I was longing for deep fellowship with other sisters, and that’s just what I got.

But that weekend God had plans to take what He was doing even deeper in my life. He was ready to peel back another layer and dig even deeper into my heart and attitude.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss had just come from her cousin’s funeral. Nancy showed a picture of her cousin and shared that at the funeral the line to visit the family was hours long. She explained that her cousin didn’t have a big platform, but lived out biblical womanhood with her husband and sons. That impacted me greatly!

Then Holly Elliff said, during the panel, that we’re busy doing things, but are we busy doing the things God has called us to do?

Those were two of the most impactful moments at True Woman 2010.

I walked away knowing just want God wanted me to do: just do it. Just live out biblical womanhood with my husband and sons. To be a true woman in my home for an audience of one, the One that really matters.

A couple of weeks later I was listening to a podcast with Mary Kassian talking to Bob Lapine about The Art of Marriage (a do-it-yourself DVD marriage conference by FamilyLife Today).

After looking over the website, praying about it, and talking to our pastors, my husband and I hosted an Art of Marriage conference. That stirred in us a desire to do marriage ministry.

Here a year later we have a newlywed ministry at our church were God has asked us to pour into the lives of 5 newlywed couples. These couples are watching our life, our marriage, and our family. They are watching us live out biblical manhood and womanhood.

I smile as I think how God had to rearrange my heart, my attitude, and my ideas. He was so tender and gracious with me. His patience is priceless! What a mighty God we serve!

So this is why I am beyond excited to talk about True Woman 2012. If you want God to pick you up, put you on a new path, and do a new work in your heart, then plan on joining me in Indianapolis in September of 2012 for True Woman 2012! I can’t wait to see what God has for me next!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

03/06/12 - Justification/Sanctification

Justification happens once and is sudden. (Salvation in trusting Christ alone for the forgiveness of your sins. Knowing that Christ paid the judgement for your sins.)

Sanctification is on going and won't end till heaven. (It's the sandpaper on the areas that displeases or dishonors God. The growing into Christ-likeness process)

Just because you are justified, doesn't mean you won't struggle. We're all in being set apart and sanctified for His glory!

Monday, March 5, 2012

03/05/12 - True Woman 2012

In 2008 I went to True Woman 2008 in Chicago. I had no idea how much that conference would radically change my life. The 3 day conference was packed full to teaching, prayer, and ended with a call to live out being God's true woman in my life.

In 2010 I went to True Woman 2010 in Fort Worth. Again God used that conference to continue to refine me, change me, grow me, and strip me of more of myself. I left there feeling even more convicted to live out biblical womanhood in my life, in my home first and foremost!

I am beyond excited to got to True Woman 2012 in Indianapolis September 20-22, 2012.

I want to invite you to prayerfully consider coming! The theme is: Seeking Him Together for Spiritual Awakening. You will be challenged, encouraged, and renewed! For some of you it may take a few months to pull together the resources to go, this is why I am sharing this in March. If you decide to go, let me know! I'd love to meet you!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Thursday, March 1, 2012

03/01/12 - Texting

I recently had a conversation with a concerned friend, she said, "Well my friend's husband has been texting this gal he does his workouts with. They text all hours of the day and night."

My heart sank!

In the last couple of weeks I've been walking closely with friends walking through some very serious marriage issues.

The word picture God gave me was cancer. See my friends are in stage 4 cancer. Honestly, I don't know if it is terminal or not, but I have hope that God will heal. Years of this festering cancer has lead them to this painful, messy place in their marriage. God has done surgery and now they are having kemo and radiation. It's painful!

But it started like the first couple...just a misstep in the wrong direction, stage one cancer. Hopefully my friend will be able to speak truth in love to her friend and they will get the help they need before their cancer is stage 4.

When I talk about guarding your heart for marriage it's more than not dating or being legalistic in your approach. My heart cries for you to embrace purity because once you are married you will have to continue to fight and guard your marriage for the glory of God.

Satan is out to kill and destroy marriages! If you're not preparing for the battle before marriage...he may blindside you once marriage.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

02/25/12 - Pulling off the Masks

I'll never forget talking to her more than two years ago. She poured out her heart of her unhappy marriage. She had been unhappy for a long time.

Then she said, "No one at my church knows this. We all walk around on Sunday like we're so happy and nothing is wrong."

Why? I mean why do we keep up the masks in the one place we should feel the safest?

When you have hidden pain or secret sins you will drift towards isolation. You will think you are the only one with this pain. You will think you're the only one who struggles with this certain sin.

You know you're not alone! Satan wants us to drift towards isolation. He wants us to retreat. He wants to keep those masks up because he knows when the masks come down, revival can begin!

Please pull your mask off! Get honest with yourself, with God, and with others!! Don't let satan win!

Friday, February 24, 2012

02/24/12 - Complete Surrender

I've had this thought: If a complete stranger came into my home and looked through every corner of my house, every computer file, every journal, every movie, every CD, every cabinet, every drawer, every email, every text message, pretty much anywhere and everywhere in my house...would they see Jesus?

I sure hope everything in my life is consistent with the fact that I call myself a follower of Christ.

Now let me clarify something...I don't want my life to be pure so others look at me. I want my life to honor God and I want complete surrender of everything in light of the grace and truth of the cross.

What someone can't see if my heart....so even if the externals are all purified, if I harbor bitterness, anger, greed, jealousy, envy, or anything other attitude that displeases God, who cares what someone sees in my house.

I am crying out to God for complete surrender of my heart, my mind, my life, my will. Let revival come and let it start with me!!

(A book that has brought more of this to my own thinking is "Surrender" By Nancy Leigh DeMoss)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

02/18/12 - Young Man's Perspective

Recently I had a conversation with a young man about his future wife. He shared how he's been realizing how awesome it would be to be married. To have someone he could share his whole life with. A best friend, lover, confident, and someone who would point him more to Christ.

His perspective was a breath of fresh air to me!

In another conversation I had with a young man about his girlfriend I asked him, "Well, how serious are you with her?" He said, "At this point she's low maintenance and makes me happy. It's good for me now."

Do you see the sharp contrast in these two young men? One is looking at self, the other sees the true beauty of a helpmate created by God for him.

Praying my sons take on the mindset of the first young man in this culture that needs men to step up, set self aside, and be servant leaders of their homes!

Friday, February 17, 2012

02/17/12 - WinePress Publishers

All updates at the bottom of post!

I would like to offically cut all ties to my first publisher "WinePress Publishers". I regrettably write this blog post because WinePress has yet to remove my name from their success story, so I would like to cut ties publicly with them, since they won't remove my name after three times of me asking them to.

When I first published my book, Athena Dean was the owner and operator of WinePress. Athena was an amazing publisher! I am so thankful that our paths crossed.

Last year Athena cut ties with WinePress and the church that now operates WinePress: Sound Doctrine. If you would like to read Athena's story you can at: Not Afraid to Tell my Story

When Athena contacted me on Januray 11, 2012 I sent an email to WinePress asking them to remove my "success story" from their website because of a pending lawsuit.

Malcolm Fraser wrote me back on Janurary 12, 2012 stating:
"
Greetings Heather,

Thanks for your message.

WinePress is not currently involved in any lawsuit, nor are we aware that one has been filed. Apparently, you have received information regarding one that is pending. I'd appreciate it if you could let me know what you've heard and how you came to hear about it so that we can deal with any issues in a Biblical manner.

It appears that some false information may be at the source of some unfortunate gossip, so I'd be very careful about believing the first thing you hear on such matters. Doing justice to WinePress would be to let us know the specifics and details of what you've been told, and allowing us the opportunity to respond.

Sincerely,
Malcolm Fraser
Executive Officer"

On January 16th WinePress released a rebuttal to the accusations from Athena, which stated: "However, in light of the threat of a pending "lawsuit," our attorney has advised us to provide a specific rebuttal. Therefore, we are including the following facts – which are fully documented and verifiable – to address the main points of Athena's accusations"

You can read their entire rebuttal here: http://www.winepresspublishing.com/downloads/WP_Rebuttal_Statement%20.pdf

As of posting this blog the first date on the rebuttal was January 16th. So Mr. Fraser accused me of having false information on January 12th. But just 4 days later, on advice from their lawyer, they wrote a rebuttal. So Mr. Fraser is asking me to believe that on January 12th they had no idea what Athena had accused them of.

Yes, the lawsuit had not been filed, but he twisted his words making me believe he knew nothing of what Athena was going to do.

I contacted Mr. Fraser again on February 9th asking him again to remove my story from their website. Stating that if I had known Athena was no longer in charge I would have removed my name and I believe Sound Doctrine is a cult and wouldn't like to be associated with them or WinePress.

Yesterday I received a letter from WinePress stating:

"I am sorry to hear that you don't wish to deal with the false accusations against WinePress in a biblical manner."

If you'd like to see the whole letter I'd be happy to email it to you.

They also sent me a copy of Timothy Williams book "The Gospel and Gossip".

After this letter I received, I emailed Mr. Fraser again asking him to remove my name.

This issue with Athena Dean and WinePress has been very public. I am sharing both sides and do not feel that this is gossip.

I write this again because WinePress has yet to remove my story from their success story. I am thankful for Athena Dean in helping me publish the first edition of Emotional Purity!

UPDATE: An email, dated February 20th, after another attempt for WinePress to remove my story, Malcolm Fraser said, "Concerning your success story, we have removed what we are legally obligated to remove." Which, if you look at their site, there is all my info about my Success Story, but the pictures of my book covers are not there. This is very sad to me.

UPDATE March 21, 2012: Latest with Malcolm Fraser (they still haven't removed my name from their site) http://www.courierherald.com/news/143737156.html

UPDATE: March 23, 2012: I've once again tried to remove contact with WinePress and once again had a very frustrating set of email exchanges with someone there. Here's the latest on Malcolm Fraser: http://www.courierherald.com/news/143914876.html

Again I want no contact or association with WinePress Publishers!

02/17/12 - Another Marriage Post

After 12 years of marriage Sam and Kathy sit at a resturant with hardly a word crossing their lips.

Kathy plays with her salad and shifts in the hard seat.

Sam checks his phone and replies to a text message.

When he sets his phone down Kathy mentions that Tommy, their 10 year old son, has a ball game that Saturday. Sam asks when, and then checks his phone to see his calendar.

They go back to silence as the main dish is served.

Kathy wonders, "How did we get here? This man is a stranger."

Most evenings at home Sam and Kathy hardly talk, so this "date night" isn't that different. Sex is pretty infrequent, maybe 1 time every other month. They watch TV when they eat dinner and most nights they are running one of their 3 children to a sporting, school, or church event.

Their church friends have no idea that they are just living as roommates. Even some of Kathy's closest friends haven't gotten past the smile she puts on to know the loneliness she feels. Her heart aches. Secretly she is addicted to romance novels and soap operas. The fantasy land in her mind allows her to numb the pain and rejection she feels. But that pain goes back to high school when a boy she liked physically went too far with her...an event she's never shared with Sam.

Sam, well, he's pretty disconnected emotionally from the family. He figures he is the bread-winner, so he's providing for his family. Work is stressful, church commitments keep him busy, and he likes to play basketball on the weekends with his buddies from church. He figure he works all week and the weekends are "his" time. No one knows that he's lost really all interest in his wife. "Taking care of himself" is easier than connecting with Kathy, she never really liked to be physically intimate with him anyway...so he figures he's doing her a favor. His world pretty much revolves around him.

They both wonder privately, "How did we get here and how do we get back to where we were?"

(This story is NO ONE I know!!! Just patterns I've seen.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Does this sound familiar?

When couples get married, they don't set out to be strangers 12 years down the road.

But they don't set out to be intentional in their marriage either!

So there's one mis-step...maybe a deep hurt that is never addressed, or a hidden secret that one is unwilling to share. It could be that children start to consume their time and they forget to take time for their marriage. Or maybe a childhood pain is "buried", but impacts the emotional well-being of one of them. It's easier to let TV, computers, ministry, friends, other activities, or work be more important than connecting with their mate. Or maybe there's some tension in the marriage that overtime becomes just an elephant in the room.

Whatever the mis-step, whatever the misunderstand, whatever the pain...the brick wall is built. Brick by brick the couple builds a tall, thick wall between them. They don't talk, they resent, they get mad, they seethe, they may try but don't understand each other...so they stop trying. They turn on "cruise control" thinking, "If we just stay busyness enough we don't have to deal with this marriage."

Then it's easier to just be self-focused so they don't tap into the pain they're causing. It's easier to stay disconnected than take energy to focus on their mate.

But does this resemble Christ and His Bride, the Church, at all!?

God created marriage to share the gospel, yet we've twisted marriage and the beauty of the covenant into a self-serving union. We look to be "happy" and to have our needs met. We've let satan sell us the lie that busyness is the norm. We don't remain teachable, so we get stuck in our pattern of treating each other as roommates and not as husband and wife.

These patterns I have seen have welled up in me a passion so deep...a passion for God-honoring, Christ-centered, Holy Spirit-filled marriages where the husband and wife are serving one another selflessly. A marriage that screams the gospel to all who come in contact with this couple!

A marriage that thrives requires revived hearts to be directed under the mighty hand of God, where there is no thought of self, only the promotion of the gospel!

The man would be the servant leader in his home, willing to be teachable and be 100% emotionally and spiritually plugged into his wife and kids. Where his number 1 goal is to protect and provide, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually. His thought life is pure and there is not a hint of immorality. He lives with no hidden sin and full of integrity!

The wife would willing serve her family selflessly, being the helpmate she was created to be. She would embrace biblical womanhood and the freedom that comes from that. She would know that she sets the emotional tone of her home, so she would be intentional to work through past pains and hurts, so she is emotionally free to lavish love on her family. She is a life giver to all she comes in contact with.

If more non-believers saw these types of marriages...the more hands-on the gospel would seem! But when they see no difference, what is the need for a Savior?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

02/16/12 - Sanctification and Grace

Last night we thought it would be fun to watch the movie we saw on our first date. We got our snacks, pop, blankets, and turned on the movie. Within a minute or two my husband said, "We saw this on our first date?"

I said, "Yeah, what were we thinking?"

After about 5 minutes we turned the movie off and threw it away.

We both were a bit amazed that we would have gone to see that movie. It was fill with sex, drinking, murder, swear words, and scantily dressed women. (Mind you this is a PG-13 movie we saw and no I won't share the name...just say it was a very popular movie when we started dating nine years ago and that many went to see this movie).

Then God reminded us of His grace and sanctification! What wasn't that "raunchy" to us 9 years ago, repulsed us now! I wish I could say that 9 years ago we walked out of that movie theater, but I am not the same person I was then. God is growing us, changing us, pruning us, and may He continue to do so!

Have you ever noticed that something that once was acceptable to you, now repulses you?