Friday, March 30, 2007

King Saul

...was "head and shoulders" above the rest, but he was from the least family of the smallest tribe of Benjamine. When I read of the account in 1st Samuel 10 in which Samuel proves to Saul that he is is truly a prophet and proves Saul is indeed chosen of God to be King, I was sad because I know how Saul's journey ends and I saw an important lesson for myself. When Faith is tried, our Belief in the Lord's all-sufficiency to equip us for a victorious life is demonstrated by our ACTIONs. Do our actions affirm or deny the new heart that salvation brings...

1Sam 10:9 "And it was [so], that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day."

I would like to study this more- "another heart". When we accept Christ, He gives us a new heart but the sin nature remains (until we have our new bodies). The Lord then equips us. He prepares us and strengthens us when we walk in obedience. It is so sad to think that Saul's life could have been so different. He was ordained and equipped for service to GOD's CHOSEN ones. Did he lose perspective, did he reject that different heart he was given? He did...and maybe he never truly believed in God's power to make him a Godly King. Worldly lusts, pride, disobedience...a rocky road to a tragic end.

In my own heart, I find disbelief at times, and it is shown by my actions-choosing my way instead of Gods'. God is all-sufficient and WANTS me to be a Godly mother whose children will rise up and call "blessed". When I lose focus on God, I start examine some other roads that look better travelled...complacency, compromise, weariness, selfishness, neglect, self pity... entrances to paths away from God's way. It scares me to think of the roads that lead away from God. Their entrance looks so innocent and at least worth a closer look ..then I find myself suddenly stumbling blindly on a path I never intended to travel. Oh Lord, keep me on the path which you have equipped me to walk, the right path (though narrow) on which you daily give provision and gird me with Your strength to walk confidently. Yes, there are fiery darts of temptation as I make my way, but You have given me my shield of faith! Give me Grace as my shield is tried and strengthened thereby, and please show your forgiveness mercy when I fail because I attempted to use "armor" (self-righteousness-legalistic minded) not suited for me. You know it is pride.

Saul's armor would have been to big and heavy for me to wear as I am small. If I were tried while wearing it..I would buckle under its, I would not even be able to stand- I would be ridiculous! I am not big and mighty, I am frail and weak in myself. Lord, give me Your unmeasured abundance of strength and grace, dear Lord, with a "stone" and a "sling" or any other thing which is so small it points to YOU as the Victor. Your Armor is just my size! It is made just for hide me and bring Glory to Yourself! In Your Divine wisdom, you use that which is small and obscure as a vessel or means to overcome the Giants..the Goliaths...that You will increase and I will decrease. When You are increased my faith is increased. Thank you for Your ways...they are beyond my understanding, but I stand witness to them daily. My mind cannot even grasp what my soul "sees" YOU do and my faith and love is ever increased. When my flesh wants head to toe man-made armor and uneventful paths - give me faith to shed the weighty armor in favor of armor that points to You and then, may I wear it alone with the Sword of Truth to defend when trials come. Lord help me walk in You and move the idea of Faith that I know You have shown me- from my mind to my Heart. I am afraid in myself, because I so often choose my own way but great Faith is a result of great trying and testing... so I may continually learn to choose your ways.

Matthew Henry comments (concerning King Saul and his prophesying):

"The most remarkable sign of all would be his joining with a company of prophets that he should meet with, under the influence of a spirit of prophecy, which should at that time come upon him. What God works in us by his Spirit serves much more for the confirming of faith than any thing wrought for us by his providence."

May we be Giants of Faith through our Lord Jesus Christ! God is so good. (Sorry if the run-ons, misplaced modifiers and fragments are distracting! I am in need of grammar refreshing and ...well time to edit ;) Ok, enough

I Thank the Lord For My-

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Just Busy

...that should be the name of my blog these days :) A few pics. Sorry there aren't browser *knows* I'm in Japan and so my entire Blogger dashboard buttons and all are in Japanese. The transformation has happened slowly and now seems to be complete...wonderful. So, it takes me a little longer to post since, you know, my computer thinks I can read Kanji-gotta love that. (is that *Kanji* right Alice?-Alice is a Japanese speaking missionary here, and my friend :) she reads my blog..Hi Alice!)

I'm so cute!!

The outfit is adorable Mom and Dad :) He got lots of compliments at church on it...wittle handsome boy. What is it about my baby boy that puts me in the baby talk mode- how lucky that you get to read it lol as if hearing it isn't enough;) hey, I can't help it he is so cute, momma wuvs him..oh I do and I squishy him..oook enough...I NEVER did that with the girls lol..he's so spoiled. Just ignore me in the pic...Brianna took this right before church..I just don't have the time to crop the pic at the moment.
What else...well, I have still been busy planning our Mother Daughter luncheon. Our theme is Country Garden Party. I'm excited and nervous of course, but I truly want it to be a wonderful time of fellowship and Christ centered instead of centered. I am so thankful my friend Pam suggested using paper lanterns to hang from the ceiling. A lady from church is going to help by allowing us to use the Officer's Club plates and glasses FOR FREE-she works there (we just could not see spending the money to have it catered at $15 per plate)!! Praise the Lord that was such an answer to prayer. I got some neat food presentation ideas from a Bridal book. I wanted to do a hat parade, but ummm the only straw hats that I find in abundance are, you know, those Japanese ones...yes- they wear them. Hmmm THAT would be interesting huh?

Brian is in the states again for a week...*lucky* ;) (Have you ever seen Napolean Dynamite?..I must embarrassingly admit I have...MANY times) So I am here with the kids, of course, just plugging is my friend today. Speaking of coffee *ahem* I am terrible at making coffee in my automatic coffee machine. How can one mess THAT up? I don't know, but I can't seem to get the amount right. It doesn't help that Brian got a dark extra-bold French Roast Starbucks blend.... Oh yeah. Yesterday, I was so jittery from one cup of that fuel that I was downing water to calm literally made me sick to my stomach it was so strong! There had to be like two heaping Tbs of creamer in my cup too...AND after a couple of sips I added water! LOL ...I think it is a little better right now...or I am just getting used to it? Looking back over this post makes me think ...I's done with da coffee for today...oh dear. Let me post some pics for the Grandparents (love you!!!) and drink about a gallon of water before the kids get up.:) God Bless!

Friday, March 23, 2007


...a remedy for an unbridled tongue. If there is something I pray regularly for is for my tongue. And the truth is my tongue speaks what is in the heart...the Bible tells me this. Even though my words may not in themselves spew the anger, it is in my tone and on my face. "You drive me crazy!..I don't know what to do with you anymore...I give up...You are so clumsy, Grrrr grrr grrr" and many more phrases and groans and yells *sigh* It really is embarrassing. I'm like a grown up toddler throwing a temper tantrum if I am inconvenienced by my children or my husband or hurt by something probably imagined...
Psa 111:10 "The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do [his commandments]: his praise endureth for ever." The Lord answered a prayer for wisdom to overcome the sin which pours out in my starts with a reverent fear. I was given that today as I studied the Judge Jepthah. I have read this account before, but I can't tell you how, the truth of the weight of words and how I will give an account for every word I speak, hit me today as never before. Past words spoken in anger came flooding back as I studied the account. I finished reading it in tears.
Judges 11:31,34-36,39 "And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD'S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering...And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she [was his] only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back.And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her [according] to his vow which he had vowed..." Oh how my heart just aches when I read this today. Jepthah died in his sorrow over his words... I have said much worse..I am broken.

James 3:5-6 "Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue [is] a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell." boldness added for emphasis."... and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell." That is just...I don't even have words.

There is a full course meal given in these two verses alone that has moved my heart to be broken...and I know that I have not even scratched the surface. I am so thankful the Lord exposes sins that I have not taken seriously enough. Sure, I repent after angry words and tones, but I don't LOOK at it and see the "course" it sets that cannot be turned back! It hurts terribly to look at my sin in a true light, but God's grace is so good and His mercy will never fail me. I am so thankful. There aren't words for the sorrow I have concerning the weight of the words I have spoken over the years that I can never take back. Praise the Lord for the Wisdom given in my fear..may I have the understanding to do and say what is right today because I can't undo the "course of nature"-once the fire of a lose tongue is set -it burns and unfathomable damage is done to whatever it touches.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


A conversation recently between Anjolie and Brianna took place about who was going to clean their pretend dog's "literature" (instead of litter) LOL. They used to have two cats when we were in the states so I guess they think dogs have a litter?...Brianna is known for her "words" lol. Hashbrownies (hash-browns) Old McDonalds (McDonalds)Eye Browns (eye brows) of course I think EVERYONE cares about all this ;)
They sure miss their daddy when he's at work...he pretty much lives there these days.

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Ayden started walking about 3weeks ago..sorry to the Grandparents that I am just now mentioning it!!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Messy Desk

That is how my mind seems at times. Scattered disjointed thoughts cares and worries float aimlessly around and keep me distracted. I start to feel agitated about the neglect that caused these "files" in my mind to be left undone. Prayers for my children that went unsaid and caused worry -a couple of neglected phone calls (which I have taken care of now) burdened me with guilt, laundry that was left for a couple of days tempted me to point a finger of blame...OK yeah, I did, I blamed my family for wearing clothes dare they ;) My neglect in random areas and then a sudden push to catch up caused my husband to fall a few steps on my priorities list which put some tension between us. None of these issues were very pronounced in and of themselves, but they added up and each one is important. Rationalizing and procrastinating did not make them go away, it just added to the tension I was suppressing. I had started using my own strength and wisdom in my state of disorganization and lack of balance. It is no wonder I ended up sick :) It takes alot of physical energy to maintain neglect...sin...ok I will just call it what it is.
I needed the ultimate "defragging" devices...the Bible and the Holy Spirit convicting me and showing me what I needed to give over to the Lord. As I sat home sick today, the Lord showed me some encouraging things after dealing with my heart.

Philippians 4:6-7 "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." "Be careful for nothing" or avoid anxious care and distracting thoughts concerning self. How can I avoid fretting about things I say I have given to God? I must constantly pray.. "but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving..." . Any concern, any wisdom needed, a burden, an oversight...God CARES and wants to HELP ME :) That I might have a spirit, not burdened with care for myself...HE CARES for me, but one that is filled with Him and ready for service! He wants me to have a peace which results from a walk that is bathed in prayer and instructed in righteousness.

So, is peace out of the question because things have gotten out of balance? It sure "felt" that way...Praise the Lord I can/should never go by "feelings". The Lord exposed the "weights" of neglect I had allowed in my life, and they just seemed to sneak in one by one! As I would try to cover up one neglect with lots of focus, other things would fall into neglect...everything got out of balance..mostly my time with my family and ...laundry. He pierced my heart with the truth and I got on my knees and asked the Lord well, to forgive me for neglecting my priorities and to give me the wisdom and grace and strength to drop these weights of neglect, be responsible and move forward. It will require work, but it is amazing the joy I have in the accomplishing my responsibilities as He strengthens me and helps me to work efficiently. When I give my troubles to Him, I CAN have peace in knowing He will see me through as I obey the light He gives me concerning my neglect.

My mind IS my worst enemy. So it is important for me to medidate on His Word. As I work I must constantly pray or my mind will become burdened with discouraging thoughts which overwhelm and blame others...Today, He truly put a song in my heart even as I felt sick. Singing kept my mind focused on my loving Heavenly Father and not myself and the mess I had allowed to pile up (mostly in my mind). I felt His peace flood my heart.

The Peace He gives will keep me from sinking underneath my troubles into depression. Do you ever notice that it is not the ONE BIGGIE that sinks us, it's all the little things (or they seem little) that get neglected...a prayer time, Bible reading, quality time with the kids, the dishes in the sink, an apology left unsaid, the phone call, the goodnight kiss... Overwhelmed? Give your loose ends to Him-He will shine His light on "weights" of neglect, forgive when asked and give the proper perspective so tasks can be effectively prioritized and tackled. We then have peace when we walk in obedience and see His ways at work in our lives-it really is amazing how the world suddenly seems brighter when we give our "to-do" list to God and He gives His wisdom and grace to accomplish it the right order and in the right time :). He took my "messy desk" of a mind and didn't clear it off, but He organized it into something that I can, with His strength, tackle in an effective manner to His glory.

Isa 26:3 "Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace, [whose] mind [is] stayed [on thee]: because he trusteth in thee."

1Cor 2:12 "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Fashion Faux Pas

I thought this was cute

Reverend Fun

Sorry I have not been posting or visiting your blogs as regularly :( I do so miss my blog friends, but with Ayden and Lily being daily partners in crime...I have SO much to keep up with...:) Not to mention I now have whatever bug the kids had..hopefully it won't develop into pneumonia. I think I will have to go to a once a week bloggy tour/response except for posting pics. Don't forget about me though :)!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Mega B-Day Pics!

Brian got a heartfelt card and generous check from his parents for his birthday and my parents got him this neat jewelry box..of course Brian immediately transferred everything from MY jewelry box to I unfortunately have not gotten his gift yet...we are working on it- he really wants a new tv...its gotta be juuuust right.
Everything just right Brian? ;)
Adorable Birthday outfits...
Oh goody LOTS of red and yellow dye..perfect combo for a relaxing evening -NOT!!!
Let me just tear into these boxes mom...

GROOOOSSS cake face!! Video of cake eating below...keep scrolling down.

Daddy is reading a letter (Lily is in bed) to the girls from Grandma and Grandpa..they enjoyed their little goodies, and Misty- they loved their little initialed bulbs! Daddy read one of the books before bed..precious. Thank you so much mom and dad for the made me homesick :( and kinda like I needed to hop on a plane and just fly out there...right now *sigh* We love and miss you so much.

Birthday Boy Pics

We found this little dinosaur costume in a bag of clothes someone gave us..I thought it would be cute for Ayden to wear for our little party...he thought so for about 1 min then it had to come
Ayden loves his wittle fire truck :) So do the rest of the kids LOL
Ayden in an outfit he got for his birthday from Grandmom and Pop-pop..soo cute :)

Thank you Grandmom and Pop-pop for my cute little outfit and my big boy fire-truck!! We love and miss you very much:)

Happy Birthday Baby Boy...we love you so very much. You truly are a gift from God.

Happy Birthday Ayden!

It was Ayden's First Birthday so mega video and pics ahead for the Grandparents and anyone who is interested :)

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Bubble wrap is always a PLUS in our book ;) They looooved it.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

My Dad Responds...

in an email

"Hi Heather, I hope everyone is well. Your mother and I read your "A Heart For
God" and were a little surprised at how desperate you painted your teen years.
Although only you know how you felt on the inside, we remember you as being
quite happy and enthusiastic about life. We remember the events that you
describe but only as brief disruptions in an otherwise upbeat teenage life. I
don't want to understate the degree of heart ache it brought you (a lot I'm
sure!!!), but at the time you seem quite resilient through it all. I do
understand, based on your Christian walk today, how looking back might make you
regret missed opportunities or behavior driven by teenage hormones (which all
teenagers battle with) but in the overall scope of living through your teen
years you always seemed very happy and always having fun. You had lots of
friends both at Church and at school. All Christians, as they develop a closer
walk, view their passed sins with deeper regret but you must be careful that
your focus on the regrets does not distort your view of the many positive
choices that you made during that time. I can not tell you the amount of joy
that you brought to your mother and me, even during the up and down teen years.
You were always kind to others even when they didn't deserve it. You were
extremely respectful of adults and were quick to oblige their requests. You
were very involved in church activities and tried hard, within a semi-mature
teenager's view of life, to balance your Christian values with everyday life in
the world (most of the time you choose wisely, sometimes not so wisely). You
would on occasion challenge our authority as parents but we worked through it
with all of us learning valuable life lessens about the right and wrong ways of
dealing with emotions (as you know I missed the class on "Parenting 101" and
ended up doing it OJT). At the time, your direct approach to challenging
authority put me in a defensive posture but as I matured as a parent I realized
that your strong will would become a blessing in your life and would help you to
be a strong person, parent and as it has turned out a strong Christian woman. I
view your life as a Christian teenager on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the worst
and 10 being the best) at about 9; It would have been a 10 if you hadn't made
Brian wear that stupid hat to the prom. As you know, God wants obedience not
sacrifice. Go a little easier on yourself; you shouldn't be beating up on one of
God's children, at least not on my watch!

Love Always, Dad."

That just made me want to bawl. I must say is only when I started to see my sinful heart as God does (wretched and desperately wicked) that I can see the WONDROUS Love He has for me. Any good my parents saw was to the LORDS glory because He blesses IN SPITE of us and our failures. I know another reason the Lord has helped me look back and see how HE saw my heart is so that I can effectively pray for my children. We have prayed for wisdom concerning the training of our children. The Lord has answered in revealing my heart to me and revealing the weaknesses I had in the flesh when I was a teen. It is painful, but I am grateful for the "opened eyes" so I can know how to pray for my children NOW. It also puts HIS loving grace and mercy in perspective...I must decrease so He can increase as the EVERYTHING to me. Please don't think I feel sorry for NO MEANS I can see now HOW BLESSED I am to have such a loving Heavenly Father...and He still at times chooses to show me His loving kindness through my parents :) I love you!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

A Heart For God (a testimony) Part 3

This might be mistaken for the "NeverEnding Story" but this is it...the final one;)

There is something about drudging (is that a word?) up the past mistakes and failures in my life that just leaves me feeling drained and "blue" by the end of these posts. The Lord has, in the past few years, allowed me to get a glimpse- feel/see the weight of my sin and the grief I caused the Lord-the damage it has done. Yet at the same time, I know if I could grasp even a tiny fraction of the gravity of sin I would be crushed under the weight. When I think about the fact that Jesus bore the weight of this sin I allowed in my life on the cross ...He became this sin and shed His blood...bought and paid for my filth...there are no words. I only wish I could better portray what He has done in my life. My poor writing skills just don't "say" what my heart is pouring out. I am glad that some of you reading this know me...quirky me ;) and can hopefully hear my heart in all this. I genuinely want to honor Him for the changes He made and still makes in my life. Anyone who would have witnessed the changes would definitely know it was the LORD and by no means any work I could have mustered on any level myself. Most of you are probably disgusted by what I am sharing with you...rightfully so, we should be offended by sin that grieves our precious Lord. I am sorry for the shame I brought to the Christian faith...the stumbling blocks I placed. What a pathetic attempt at an apology for an evil so great. My heart was for myself...not for God.

I attended Penn State Berks Campus for a year and continued to flounder in my sin...I was sick of it, but at a loss as to what to do. Here is where I am tempted to criticize various avenues through which someone perhaps could have made a difference, but in truth, placing blame or using the excuse that I was not given proper tools will not stand when I have to answer to my Lord for my works. Were stumbling blocks placed? Yes, but even our Lord was tempted of Satan himself. Scripture backed up with belief in it- defeated the temptation. I have no excuse, but I can use what I learn in hindsight to be a help to others. God wants us to be restored that we might be better used of Him for His purpose. He is so loving to help me seek forgiveness for past sins... And on with the account...

After a year of the state school, I decided that maybe a Christian College would help me get on track. A change of location does nothing: it is the HEART that must be changed. Sure, I had some good changes in my life because of the school I was attending, but if I were given the oppurtunity, I would fall into a worldly way again because I was still making the calls in my life instead of allowing the Lord to have His way. I wanted to hold on to-my choice in dress, music, boyfriends (my, now husband, and I had broken up)-how I spent my time, my thoughts, lusts. Pleasing others, gaining recognition, desiring to be the center of attention was the motive behind most all of what I did. I thought at one point that maybe I was not truly saved..maybe that was the problem...I was actually hopeful -so that I might blame it on the fact that I did not have the Holy Spirit- I was truly saved, but had cut my spiritual heart off from the nourishment it needed. I had allowed "toxins" into my life- gossip, hate, discontentment, vengeance, a lust for physical attention, music, partying etc. I had put conditions on my walk and I was in a state of spiritual Heart Failure to the point that there was arguably no visible "walk" left.

During Christmas break, Brian and I decided to get back together and we were going to work for a semester and then both of us would attend Liberty University the next Fall. Brian during that time had an interview with a Marine Corps recruiter who persuaded me to join as well.

I won't go into the woes of military life- especially the woes of being a woman in the Marine Corps. Ok, the woes of being a woman in the Marine Corps stationed in 29 Palms with no car. ;) 29 Palms is in the Mojave Desert...we had to rake the sand that was our, uh yard. I don't think women should be Marines...'nuff said. I still struggle emotionally from some of the things that happened to me over the course of my 4 year contract. My Dad had begged me not to enlist- he warned me that I was not going to be "prepared" for the things I would have to deal with. He was right...and then some. Before I left home, he gave me a Silver Dollar that I was to keep in my pocket throughout bootcamp. He kept one in his pocket too. Every time I stuck my hand into my pocket and felt that Silver Dollar, I was to know he was praying for me, thinking of me. That silver dollar marked the beginning of some of the the most painful years of my life- spiritually,mentally and emotionally. The Marine Corps is a lifestyle different from any other service and you can't know what it is like unless you have experienced it. My tour was filled with success-by military standards, but there was not a moment of peace in my life moment. I was busy drowning out the Holy Spirit. No amount of success in this world could possibly compare to the peace that can be felt even on a bad day in the life of one who lives for the Lord. Life outside of God's will is empty and pain-filled ...and dangerous. At the time, I might have thought I was having a good time, but a good time meant that I was distracted from acknowledging the true condition of my heart. God's hand still protected me in various ways throughout my enlistment. Moving right along...

Brian proposed to me during that time, and we decided that we should wait until my service contract had ended before getting married. My 4 year obligation was finally nearing the end and I was going to go home to my parents house in Alabama vowing to never return to the desert- ...never say never.

My "shop" had a going away party for me before I left and at the going away a secretary, Marilyn, who had briefly worked with me in the middle of my enlistment walked up to me and said something to the effect of "Sgt Evans, I want you to have this"-with that she pressed something into my palm. Ok, back up just a little to the word "briefly" in the previous sentence...I was surprised she even cared to come to my going away at all, I barely knew the lady! The Lord sent her my way, I am sure of it. My heart flipped when I looked down to see what she had pressed into my hand. It was a silver dollar. No one knew about the silver dollar my dad had given me- it was tucked safely away in a valuables bag that I kept in my wall-locker. It marked the beginning and the end of my rebellion displayed by joining the military against my parent's will. It also (seeing in hindsight) appeared that it would mark an end to the Lord's allowance of my wayward walk- the Lord would make clear to me that I was harming the cause of Christ and it would have to end. I was a prodigal..I was asleep to the Lord's chastisement- I continued to stumble blindly in the wrong direction. Enough was Enough.

As I made the trip across country with a friend- I had again gone against my Father's wisdom of just flying home- "How fun...a road trip...", I thought. We made it to Las Cruces, New Mexico...I can clearly see the symbolism now. Las Cruces- the Cross.

I slowly woke up surrounded by wreckage - I had an indescribably glorious feeling despite the obvious wreckage I woke up in. I don't even want to begin to speculate about what type of near death I had experienced...nor do I want to focus on whatever it was that the Lord allowed during my abscence of concsiousness -at least. Whatever it was, I knew the Lord's wake up call had been received on my part. I praised Him over and over. I could make out some faces peering in the passenger head was below the steering wheel, there was blood and glass everywhere and the car was crushed in on me. I didn't feel any pain, so I assumed I was dying..or something along those lines. My friend,the driver, had apparently been ejected. I still had my seatbelt on and one leg was out the window. My head felt "raw" and I thought that maybe my scalp was torn off, but those at the scene assured me my "hair was on". An EMT climbed into the wreckage to hold my hand while the firemen used the "jaws of life" to cut the frame that caged me. I drifted in and out of concsiousness, but was just so thankful to be alive..happy for what appeared to be a second chance. I had amnesia which caused the Paramedic to fear a serious head trauma- I had no idea of my name or anything for a couple of hours! The Drs were amazed that I managed to come away with no internal injuries or broken neck...though the vehicle had rolled 7 times down the highway. The driver had over corrected at 75+mph and the police were incredulous that we survived. I broke both of my wrists and one ankle and was bruised and cut up, but I did not even need any stitches. Miraculous. My friend who was ejected during the first roll- also a prodigal at the time, had shattered 5 vertebrae and was airlifted from the hospital in Las Cruces to a hospital in El Paso. We have an amazing God. My dad flew out to get me- lovingly came to rescue his prodigal. I recovered quickly physically and was eager to have my relationship with the Lord restored as well.

Brian and I married that May of 1998 and I was determined to seek the path the Lord planned for me. I suffered a heartbreaking miscarriage in the summer of 2000 and thought perhaps children were not going to be possible. Undeserving of anything, I did humbly ask the Lord for a child that I might train up to serve Him. The Lord answered that prayer and was answering my prayers in my seeking to have a heart for Him as well. The way He answered was very unexpected. Brian received orders to 29 Palms...the desert to which I had said I would never return. I cried upon hearing the news, but I trusted the Lord that there must be a reason. We discovered that reason when my husband found a tract for an Independant Fundamental Baptist church in Yucca Valley which was about 30 min from our base housing. The evil one did all he could to discourage us from attending. I was defensive about the less than modest way I dressed, and was not yet a submissive wife by any means- worse I was still plucking my house down with criticism. I was easily offended and tempted to find another church in the very beginning, but God in His grace impressed upon me that this was where I needed to be. He was going to use this church and the preaching of His word to reprove, correct, and instruct me in righteousness. Brian and I rededicated our hearts and lives to the Lord and determined to serve and worship Him in a way that was pleasing to Him. Through the Bible preaching of Pastor Watkins in that church and the encouragement and patience of the church family there- we experienced tremendous spiritual growth. I had my first baby while attending there and boy was God ever working in our hearts through straight full strength teaching. There is nothing like straight Gospel truth...Bible preaching that is not watered down, and what an additional blessing that this Pastor, in truth, can Preach like no other pastor I have heard! I love reading Spurgeon's sermons, and Pastor Watkins is right up there in revealing truth and preaching it. I could go on and on about that family...most Godly people I know.
Our church allowed us the priviledge to serve in various ministries which we loved and learned a great deal. My heavenly Father gave me a second chance to be used of Him! I now know a bit about that joy and peace that only the Lord can give- even in the midst of tempestuous storms. He has allowed me to share the Gospel with others...see souls saved. I am a filthy rag not fit to even mention His name and He allows me to HIS worship service! All praise and honor to HIM...I will never tire of singing praises to Him.
I had to get back to where I had originally lost sight...I had to kneel before Christ with His precious nail scarred feet and repent of my sin... I had to take all I had, which was not mine to begin with, and pour it out at His feet. I literally, in my bedroom one day while expecting Brianna- was overcome with grief over the past-my sinful life and laid on the floor begging forgiveness. Please don't mistake any of this for show... I don't know a better way to express how the Lord worked in my poor excuse of a life. I just want to share about the repentance the Lord graciously, lovingly led me through. I had been so numb that the renewed fire that the Holy Spirit stirred in my heart bringing about strong conviction, regret and repentance was welcome in my weary malnourished soul. His rod of correction I could see as His loving me. My spiritual heart started to pump stronger with some of the blockages of iniquity out of the way. Truth be known- I would rather feel the pain of chastisement and correction than the numbness of a heart that has hardened against any prods of conviction.
Christ took my repentant heart and lovingly welcomed me back into fellowship. Oh, I still struggle and fail many know this from my silly little posts! Pride gets in there and does damage, bitterness comes to the surface at times and I have to give it to the Lord, I mistake people pleasing for conviction sometimes...the Lord leads me back. He is always there. My works are tried in the fire over and over and the Lord blesses that which is done with a pure heart in spite of me- because of Himself. When I stumble, when I am discouraged, when I feel afraid, when I don't have any answers- I cling to Him. When I cling to anything else..the Lord allows it to collapse under me that I might find Him. I don't ever want to leave His presence- to please Him is my heart's desire. A heart for God...oh if I could have but this one miraculous thing wrought by His hand in my life...I am overwhelmed by His infinite grace and mercy for a wretch like me. God is so good and His mercy is for all.
If you have not given your life to Him today as your personal Savior- don't put it off. Even as you sit here reading this trust Him TODAY. If you are a prodigal- don't wait until it is too late to be a vessel which can be used of Him. My life should have been snuffed out in that car accident...we are called to be witnesses. He wants to restore you, bring you back into fellowship with Him. He is healing my hurts! He is remaking my marriage and helping me overcome the obstacles in my marriage due to sin. He is leading me, changing me little by little- I can't express the joy and peace even in trials that I have experienced. Every trial makes me more of a witness to His power and grace and mercy that is sufficient to sustain me. And my children *tears* even if He spared my life that I might have these 4 precious children to tell of HIS saving Grace that they might win souls for Him..there are no words to express His bountiful measure in the blessings He has given me. Praise Him- He is worthy of all praise.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

A Heart For God Part 2

I am the blonde (natural then ;) ) without the bangs

Jer. 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find [me], when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Judas witnessed Christ perform miracles- he heard the preaching first hand from our Lord, and yet he betrayed Christ...with a kiss. Judas never "got it". Judas knew he had betrayed a good man, but did not truly believe in Christ the Son of God -God in flesh. He did not know the Master-though he walked with him. That is the tragedy of all tragedies. We betray Christ when we say He is our Savior and Lord but choose to walk our own way. Like Judas, Satan wants us to be backed into a corner where we think the only answer is self-murder. He wants us to think God is not powerful enough to forgive our sins of the past or to heal the pain we have caused ourselves from horrendous sins. Satan cannot enter us as he did Judas if we are truly Saved, but he does do everything possible to destroy our testimony and wants us to be a stumbling block to others. God paid an infinite price for us on the cross- He loves us infinitely. A heart for God is one that has been cleansed from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 says "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." You may have committed the worst of sins...whatever they are -but if you have trusted in Christ as your Personal Savior- He wants to restore you to Himself in PERFECT FELLOWSHIP.

In the 8th grade, I tried out for cheerleading. I saw the girls in their cute little skirts ( and I do mean little- barely covered ...anything) and noticed right away that if I wanted to have friends and be happy in school...I needed to be a cheerleader. A cheerleader had license to dress skimpy and dance seductively without being labeled ugly names...all the boys loved the cheerleaders and it was just one big clique...what could be a better chance to get "in" to this frenzy of popularity? The first time I tried out, I was an alternate, but the next season, I was co-captain of the JVs and the next year I was on a National team to compete in Dallas Texas. I was accepted- I was finally in.... . It was as if 7th grade never happened-on the outside, but part of me longed for the rejected innocent girl that loved her Lord. I felt the Lord drawing me back, but was quickly swept up with distractions of cheerleading practice, away games, drama, ballet... I started to listen to the music my friends did........Weigh that last statement. Take music seriously...don't compromise with your kids on is dangerous. You cannot change your child's heart or lusts for worldly things, but you can take a firm stand against the music allowed in your house and car. Music was a "gate way" for the evil one to "seduce" me ...lure me away from Christ. At first, I literally would feel sick to my stomach as the drones of Depeche Mode and the Cure "ministered" to me in a most evil way. Here are some of the words to a song I would listen to.. "Enjoy the Silence" Depeche Mode
"Vows are spoken
To be broken
Feelings are intense
Words are trivial
Pleasures remain
So does the pain
Words are meaningless
And forgettable"

At the time I thought it felt healing to listen to such things, but this along with Nine Inch Nails and other music that I now see directly attacks the work of sickens me even now as the tunes come into my mind. It still "lunges" at my flesh and sickens my spirit in an unexplainable way that I can only see more clearly what it was really doing now, after having guarded myself from it for these many years....

Some who read this may think I am being dramatic in my words concerning music, teens, compromise...if only I had more dramatic words to use to relay the gravity of these "symptoms" I showed in my visible choices. The music helped me nurse my feelings of bitterness about how I had been treated, they nurtured rebellion toward authority, the music confirmed the lie satan whispered that I was just misunderstood and therefore justified to act out and get the attention I deserved. I could be a "star" - my wildest fantasy could come true if I was just given a chance...dangerous lies whispered in the ears of our kids today. Music, movies, news...even Disney "When you wish upon a star...makes no difference who you are...the dream that you wish will come true" . If making a dream come true means we have to is wrong. Another post for another time- (no we don't ban Disney ) .

Deep down, I knew the friends I made were a "package deal"- I had to maintain a "cool" appearance to keep them- and it wasn't me they liked anyway it was a plastic package- hollow empty. My compromises in dress, music, friends wore on me...tormented me caused me to be sleepless. I knew I was living a lie. I tried to "help" my feelings of uselessness by being nice to everyone..embracing everyone as my friend. I was so proud of the fact that I chose not to be a snob..oh how wonderful Heather was to still associate with the "others" ...blech...pathetic. I found that I could appease my guilty conscience by not going to certain parties or drinking or smoking...this would keep people interested in me- for a time. It was like a challenge to taint the girl who was new to the "world" and its vices. Though even now I look back and see God's protection *tears* undeserved. NOT ONE TIME was I offered drugs- that is truly a miracle folks-wrought, in part, by praying parents. All my friends had been approached and most of them tried at one point or another- but never once in high school or college was I ever approached. God is so good to know I probably would not have gotten out of that pit. But, ladies, satan is never happy with just a few compromises here and there..I was still at a point where it would have been easy to kneel at the cross and be restored. I had not outright done anything that the world would consider wrong, but I was not in fellowship with God..I had abandoned Him. Spiritually I was in a dangerous spiral. Looking back I can see the moment I chose to walk my own way- I was in serious trouble. Christ was not reigning on the throne in my heart...He was my Insurance Policy...I thought I knew what was best for my heart I sob at that truth that my actions revealed. Rebellion against parents is rebellion against God and is never to be taken lightly. I was using my own wisdom and strength to make decisions...which led to some minor (in my mind) compromises, but nothing that would alarm an onlooker. Satan knew he had to get me to a point where I would add up so much iniquity and do so much damage to my testimony that I would be numb to any stirring of the Holy Spirit- that to go humbly back to my Savior and beg forgiveness would be more painful than continuing in my life of sin.

Whenever I did feel down (which was most of the time)I would just pop in music that helped me nourish my anger and bitterness which I then directed at my parents. It was cool to be depressed in the late eighty's and early ninety's. I fit in! I was a typical teen right? Don't accept that lie...pray for better in your child. No saved teen is going to be happy in his/ her life of sin and they have got to blame out. During this whole time, I was still active in my Youth Group at church...I would sing, performed in a puppet ministry. I appeared to have it "all together". I would say the key to "seeing" state of your teenagers heart is in his/her music. Don't underestimate the power of music to "feed" the evil course of a heart. I don't feel the need to go into detail about every sin I indulged in during my backslidden state..there is no need to compare that some who read this might feel better about their "baggage" or worse. Believe me when I say my heart was in a dire condition and worse. If you are concerned on a personal level about your teen or loved one, you may e-mail me personally...the Lord may lead me to share on a deeper level.

The summer before 10th grade I met Brian at Vacation Bible School. I was introduced to my husband by my friend Tina. Both of us were saved, but neither of us were walking with the Lord. By our senior year we were very serious in our relationship and had tallied up many scars in our lives that we are still paying for to this day because of our disobedience to the Lord concerning fornication. I can't tell you the pain and regret that I feel towards my parents and most of all my Lord and Savior for the choices I made, but I share this in hopes..pleading with anyone who is not walking with the Lord to get things right ...right now! You can bend your knee at this very moment and get right with the Lord.
If you think the pain stops here in my choices, it only gets worse. On the outside everything looked my heart I was dying. I can't tell you the depths of despair my heart felt being out of fellowship with God. Yet, on I continued..blindly grasping reaching toward nothing. Look at the words of the music your teen speaks what they can't. The evil one is giving them a ballad. Pray for a way "in" to your teen's heart...pray fervently.
I was voted to be in the homecoming court my Senior year...I had lots of friends, I was a great cheerleader, I had one of the top chairs in County Chorus...all vanity. I was dead inside because I was grieving the Holy Spirit. When I turned 16 I found out I could get into certain Dance Clubs that did not serve alcohol...the devil didn't need alcohol yet to lure me further on my path of sin. The Dance floor offered a whole new playground. I discovered I could dance well in cheerleading, and sure enough, I could get lots of attention on a techno-club floor as well. I can dance with my husband at a Marine Corps Ball or Wedding, but I to this day cannot listen to techno music without being physically ill. Techno music even has a "trance" category of music which I will tell you works to numb all inhibitions...Satan is using the techno music, YES MA'AM HE IS, to lower your kids ability to discern right from wrong and any sense morals. IT WAS LIKE A DRUG to me...I felt "high" on this music. Lucifer was once the Choir leader of the Angels of not think he does not know the power of music. His demons are ministering a ministry of darkness and destruction to the hearts of our kids today through the techno raves, clubs, your very home. The music puts the mind into a trance state so that Satan's playground is in the minds of our kids. It is only by the Grace of God that I did not sink to the lowest depths...some of you may have and God wants to heal you. Parents I plead with you to take what your child is listening to seriously. I justified the techno over the heavy metal because most times, the techno did not have any words. Demonic power..I can't emphasize this behind the world's music. (Lord hedge me about as I share...that even one life might be influenced to turn to You).

Compromise is ALWAYS a serious situation. I started college and things got even worse as I was tangled about in the snares of the world...every time the Lord chastened...I ran blindly into more be continued

Some of you may be wondering what my parents were doing...where were they? They were doing the best they could. Taking me to church, praying for me, reading the Bible to me, encouraging me- making hard decisions when faced with a willful teen. It's a CHOICE to follow the parents could not have possibly known my heart- I did not even myself "see" what was happening. I share this with the light of hindsight.

Jon 2:5 "The waters compassed me about, [even] to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head." -Jonah on being swallowed by the Great Fish.

Friday, March 02, 2007

A Heart For God -Part 1

That is the title of our Ladies' Retreat this year, and I, by the Grace of God am going! My husband can't get off work (no surprise there) but God is making a way!

The past couple of months I have been studying on what it means to have a heart for God. The Bible speaks of David being a man after God's own heart(1Sam 13:14), there is the portrait of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 :10-31, Titus 2 is an excellent resource...There is truly such a wealth of knowledge the Lord can reveal to us...wisdom He wants to impart if we are in a state to receive it. His Word is so amazing and the way He has used His Word, trials, blessings, chastisement, paint a picture of His wondrous love for ME a sinner saved by indescribable. His ways are beyond words I have to describe. I am now 32 years old and there seems to be so little time. In my study, I was moved to look back at my own life..the presence of God, His hand in my life, and the decisions I made.

I was saved at the age of 7 in a children's church service and by the age of 10-11 would say I was "in love" with my Lord and Savior. At that point in my life, in a child like faith, I believe I had a heart that was for that was well guarded as far as what outside influence there was, thanks to my parents, one that was influenced to share the gospel-by teachers, one that had deep compassion for others- the Lord and one that genuinely wanted to learn more about the Bible. I had a heart that by the GRACE of God knelt at the throne of God and He was the cause for that- He called ME, a sinner, to come and kneel at His feet. It was up to me to stay there, it was up to me whether or not I would "hear" His teachings and allow Him to mold my life....would I pour out my best ointment on His precious scarred feet and let its aroma drift upward? Would I take what is known as a woman's glory..her hair, and wipe His feet in the spiritual gesture showing Him that He could have all of me? It was He that equipped me with the ointment..the was His all along- I had given Him my heart so my life in the flesh was crucified with Him...I was to be a new creature- what would I do with these precious gifts that belonged rightfully to Him? The symbolic picture created when Mary took the ointment which was preserved in an alabaster box was a beautiful one of the breaking of Christ's body and His perfect blood poured out for our sins. Just as He poured out His life blood for us, we are to be a living sacrifice for Him- pouring out all that we have of ourselves to be filled with Him.

I would love to say that my testimony is filled with all the right choices and decisions, but it isn't. If you would like (and if you have the time ;) ), you can join me as I turn back a couple of chapters in my life to better understand what happened and how I can better cling to the feet of my Savior today. I have seen that the way to have a heart for God is to be kneeling at His feet in all things...pouring out my best to Him daily...forsaking any "self glory" and wiping His feet with any "glory" that might be- sowing in tears and reaping with His joy.

I attended a Christian school until I was in the 7th grade- at that time and for various reasons- mostly having to do with the distance of the Christian school-my parents decided to put us in the local public school which was only a block away. Here is where I was awakened to the cruelty of kids and the world in a *deafening* way. I heard words that I had NEVER heard nor did I want to know. I was hated..and ridiculed for my innocence...and I mean INNOCENT of any knowledge of what these kids knew. Daily I was asked what this or that meant, and as I "glowed" red from embarrassment and went home crying daily..I couldn't see that the Lord was drawing me even closer to Him. I can see looking back that at the tender age of 11 my faith was being tested...and it stood -for a couple of years. One day the kids wrote a poem about me which was passed around for all to started out "Heather Evans (my maiden name) is so ugly, Heather Evans smells like pee..." At this point, I was so angry that I took the poem to the school office and begged for help...I am sure you know that was probably the WORST thing I could have done. My parents, however were impressed that the boy who wrote the poem had to write me a letter of apology. I was not impressed, I was bitter and continued to be bitter. I was not even crying anymore..I had spent many a lunch period sitting in the bathroom so no one could ridicule me or tell me I could not sit at that was pretty pathetic. Looking back on that little girl (me) I want to just hug her and tell her to hang on...the Lord has a special plan for her life. We all have these little girls/ and boys in our lives -we see them in Sunday School, on the bus...especially in our Youth Groups...who were/ are confused and need a little boost of encouragement- if you see one, write her a note, give her a hug...tell her/him the Lord has a plan. In my 7th grade Latin class, the boy across from me dared me to tell the teacher when he kicked at my shins under the table..I chuckle at that now, but I loathed Latin and my bruised shins. Another girl, Marie, who badly needed the Lord, hated me, but left me alone when I wrote her a note asking genuinely why she hated me and that I prayed we could be friends. She kind of lost the heart to lead the taunting after that and her "affectionate" quips of "nerd" and "loser" she said with a smile that let me know that was where her meanness stopped. Threats to beat me up came a couple of times for who knows why, but the Lord caused the others to lose interest in me as another new kid came to class...Stanley...poor Stanley. I did have one or two friends by the end of my 7th grade year that were an encouragement. One of them would introduce me to my husband a few years later.
I tell you all this to kind of give a backdrop. In trying to understand when it was that I had fallen into my backslid state and remained there for about 12 years and how I came to find my way back to my knees before the Lord...I have also found healing and been able to see some things that I had left "undone" in my forgiving others. The Lord has helped me see that if I would have clung to Him even tighter during that first experience of trial and type of persecution and trusted the Lord, He could have done a mighty work through me to be a witness in my class...and I am sure that work was already started. When was it that I departed? What happened spiritually? Well, I had gotten a taste for what it was like when the world "liked" you...and I wanted more of that "quick high" one finds when they compromise....I gradually got up from my Savior's feet...took my talents..the vessel/temple that belonged to Him and, as the Prodigal son did, I departed from the paths of righteousness. I thought that "riding the fence" by compromising in some areas could possibly satisfy both God and the world...I was dead wrong. I tell you that it led me blindly down a path in which I kept justifying and defending until there was very little left of that heart for God that I once had...I had all but quenched the Spirit. The harvest was ripe but instead of pouring out my precious oil on the feet of Christ I took all He had given me..and sold it for cheap attention and worldly be continued