Your Voice is for Truth {To Speak Or Not To Speak… That Is the Question}

If we don’t voice our beliefs and stand up for what we believe in, then we must ask ourselves where our loyalty lies.

God uses voices. He doesn’t need them. He chooses to use them.

I’m not referring to the times when we know to hold back with someone as He leads. His timing is far better than ours. We must walk and talk with care and forethought around those who are impressionable or unknowledgeable of the Truth of the Spirit.

“… that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (ESV) Colossians 4:4-6

I’m referring to the voices for God’s Truth in business, friendship, politics, education… Everything … in everyday life when we feel it in our “gut” to say something. That’s the Spirit leading.

By all means if you have sought God’s wise instruction in a particular conversation, as we all should pray for His guidance, and He tells you to wait, then wait on the Lord. It is all about what He knows. 

But there are way more times when we feel convicted to voice-up, but we don’t … and if we really think about why … we find they are for self-centered reasons.

  
I’ve done it too. I’ve been afraid to say something because the person might not like me anymore. I’ve been hesitant because I think it might push them away from God. I’ve been fearful of saying something because I might lose a job or a benefit in life.

But I heard God nudge me more and more. They are ready to hear what He asks me to share… Right when He asks. 

So I ditched the fear and the selfish thinking and now I risk everything for sharing what might be what saves them from an eternity without God or what might lead them closer to Jesus then they’ve ever been.

Why would I not stand up and be a voice when God asks? Just because I might lose something does not mean I was not supposed to share. I might lose… but they might gain a seed to the ultimate Gift. 

We must not forget:
People in this world still die for standing up for Truth.

If we don’t voice our beliefs and stand up for what we believe in, then we must ask ourselves where our loyalty lies. Are we loyal to the God we say we follow and trust with every aspect of our lives? Or are we loyal only with ourselves – afraid to go against the crowd or be called out or be ignored?

Don’t miss an opportunity He gives you. Be a voice for Him. I can tell you when I listened carefully with determination is when God was free to work through me. Sometimes… I don’t even realize just how very much. 

Live blessed so others see blessing,

Heather

{What If} Our “Too Much” Became Just Right?

How much is too much? How far is too far? How little is too little? How trustworthy is our word?

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I literally can not count the amount of posts I have read, messages I have received, articles I have read, etc from people who have constant comments and complaints and excuses about having too much to do in life, too many commitments, and not enough time and energy. When we make commitments we should make every effort to stick to them.

We should not “exchange” things to a backburner – or worse yet, to no burner – when something (or someone) better comes along. We need to learn that people count on our commitment, they plan around it. They believe us when we say we will be there for them.

I read lots of complaints about how people are just plain worn out because they took on too much, not even thinking about all their friends who are worn out because they are taking care of an aging or sick loved one, or they are chronically ill and only wish they were worn out simply because they overscheduled themselves.

And what about our being designed to need rest?

We are commanded to rest, yet nearly everything I hear is how people are just exhausted.

He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.” For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. ~ Mark 6:31

Therefore, a Sabbath rest remains for God’s people. For the person who has entered His rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from His. Let us then make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience. ~ Hebrews 4:9-11

 

Those voices {rare among us but I learned long ago to be one} that say how when they learned to discern what they should say “yes” to and kept their commitments their lives were fulfilled to a greater degree. And they were not letting people down. Why do we do this to ourselves and others?

It even spills over into our everyday language:

“Let me know if you need anything,” said to a widow or an ill friend. Most won’t ask because they don’t want to be a burden, so we should just offer our love, take over dinner, a gift, even a phone call, mow their lawn, or even send a beautiful card in the mail. We can’t keep up with everyone in every situation. That’s understandable. But those we are face to face with and are a part of our lives? Give them a piece of your eternity. It’s who we were made to be.

“I’ll pray about it,” said as an excuse instead recognizing it as a mandate on your soul. Tim Hawkins, comedian, posted something on his FB wall this week that made people giggle … and I would guess wiggle. He wrote “Christians, let your yet be yes and your no be ‘I’ll pray about it.” Sure, we should all pray about our choices, our potential commitments, but we should never use the holiness of prayer to be our excuse, our slough off. We should always stay honest. It is who we were made to be.

“Thanks in advance for your grace,” said to someone who asked something nicely of us. That’s basically, not always but in general, like saying “No matter what I committed to you have to understand why I’m backing out now” or “No matter that I could say yes and it would be virtually no burden, you must understand and accept I am not interested in what interests you. I will not be supporting you.” How about we let each other show us gratefulness and grace and understanding before we force feed it to them? It’s many times just a “nice” way to shrug someone off and THAT is where it goes wrong. Give a person a loving response even when you can’t commit or something major legitimately gets in the way of your original commitment, and let them feel the love. It’s who we were made to be.

“I just don’t have the time to do that even though I said I would” said to the ones we’ve committed to when they can clearly see we do have the time. It’s especially visible how much time we all had in a given day by how much goes on our social media. Understandably, we all need our play time! But once we commit and then not follow through, it hurts people we’ve committed to, the people our commitment would have affected, and our relationships. Brothers and Sisters, humankind… we need to value with each other that which is valued. We need to support each other by our actions AND our words. It is who we were made to be.

I’m just talking about living with complete integrity. Are we all doing that all the time?

God, help to let our “yes” be “yes” and determine to keep our commitments as best we can. Help us to think of how our lack of commitment effects others and how our “too much to do” only leads to “not enough rest”. Help us to be the best we can be without excuse.

But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation. – James 5:12 ESV

Live to Bless,
Heather

Love Vs. love: Love Died

Love versus love.

Notice I capitalized that first one? That is because I see a complete difference in Love and love. By difference, I mean that I believe there are many kinds of love but only one of them is the truest. The Source.

Loving someone who loves you back is easy. I use that word ‘easy’ very lightly, because loving someone takes work and effort. There is no doubt that we all work at our relationships – with our spouses, with our children, with our extended family, with our friends, and might I add, with ourselves. (That last one is probably the hardest for many.) But what about loving someone when they don’t love you back?

Loving someone who doesn’t recognize your love or even someone who denies your love can be an excruciating pain for the heart to handle. You don’t get to see their smile towards your love. You don’t get to feel their hug towards your love. You don’t hear the words you long to hear,

“I love you, too.”

The hurt we experience when someone hides their love for us for a period of time, due to anger or fear or whatever else is getting in the way, is a mountain of pain to climb.

These obstacles to love are the same obstacles that happen to get in the way of Love at its source. The source of Love is God. No other Love could have sent His Son to die. No other Love could have died for us to save us.

Think about that for a minute. It strikes my heart hard.

He loved so hard, so fast, so unconditionally, so deep that He could not stand letting us go on without His Love.


So Love came down.
Love gave all.
Love died.

Hold on to your hearts though, friends!

Love lived! True Love, from the Source… LIVED.

Now stop and think about all of those who don’t recognize that Love, those who deny that Love. How much pain must He feel? We feel it when someone denies our love even for a moment, don’t we? Multiply that by a millions. Only His heart aches to that ultimate extent and knows how many have denied.

Now let me knock on some of your hearts. Get ready. This might hurt. I know it hurts me when I realize I am doing it.

What about all those moments — those periods, those seasons — when we, inside our love for Christ, don’t recognize His love?

The moments we are not in prayer time regularly, the moments when we make decisions big and small about life without consulting His Word for the Truth about it, the moments when we live out our lives without His True Love guiding us — those are the moments that make a lifetime difficult.

Loving someone takes effort.

Those efforts are worth it because it was worth it for Love to die.

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Love One Another.

It is easier than we realize.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. – 1 John 4:7-10

Live and Love truly blessed,
Heather

Accused and Convicted {That’s Me, I Hope}

I have a simple question to ask all those who say they follow Jesus. One simple question I heard that made me think very hard.

If you are accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

I want to walk accused and convicted.

If I don’t, then I am afraid I will become of no use to a world full of people who desperately need love and compassion.

We are all watched by others. What are we doing to show them Jesus and look back into their eyes and say “I notice you. You are loved.”

We’ve got to love this out if we say we believe it. #ALLIN

Do You Pray Dangerous Prayers?

Can prayer be dangerous?

Greater Is He | 40YearWanderer | Heather Mertens

 

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; ~ Colossians 4:2 NASB

 

Depends on how you define ‘dangerous’, I think. If it is defined as ‘risky’ then it’s a resounding “YES!” If it is defined as ‘doing harm’ then it’s a resounding “YES!”

I once told my pastor that after all that I had been through, after all God had taught me, that I was absolutely “along for the ride, God.” He smiled and said, “that’s a dangerous prayer.”

He was right.

It’s risky from a human standpoint because most of us don’t really think we can give up our moments to be ready to be used, or we don’t think we are capable of being used, or that we aren’t good enough to be used.

I’ve got three words for those three thoughts of doubt:

Moses
Rahab
Paul

Moses told God outright “I can’t even speak.” But he was willing to risk it all and lives were saved.

Rahab was a prostitute. But she was willing to risk it all and lives were saved.

Paul gave up his life, his days, his moments to always be ready to be used. But he was willing to risk it all and lives have been saved.

So I decided… I’ve got only this moment. Risk it! Be willing. I’m living for His plan or I’m not living.

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. ~ 1 John 4:4 NASB

I love that He calls us “children”. We are dear to Him so we know we can trust Him.

And if we go by that second definition – doing harm – then I’m ready! Let’s tell God we are ready to be used and do some harm to sin and hatred and the enemy.

The battle is already won. We just need to live it out.

Live Blessed,
Heather

The Only Choice That Matters

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I learned we can’t ultimately fail if we are seeking His Will with all our hearts. Just Let Him guide you. Hand in hand. Walking together. Smiling at His beauty.

Maybe that isn’t easy for some of you. I get that. It wasn’t always easy for me either. I made some really, really bad choices, and some really bad things happened to me that just made it hard to smile. Hard to trust that God was working in my life.

But when I read what He had to tell me in His Word, I realized there was no way He was a liar.

When He said, “I am with you always,” He meant it.

When He said, “I will remember your sins no more,” He meant it.

When He said, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” He certainly meant it. Most certainly. As certain as certainty can get.

So why didn’t I believe it? Why was it so hard for me to accept and realize that if I asked God for His will in my life that I might falter but I’d never ultimately fail?

Why? Because of guilt. Guilt is a life sucker. Get rid of guilt so the view in front of you ~ and in your heart ~ becomes extremely clear.

But “how”, you might ask?

Again. I go to His word. That book many call the Instruction Book for Life. I believe what He says.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. ~ Romans 8:1 ESV

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Romans 5:1 ESV

We have a choice to read it.
We have a choice to believe it.
We have a choice to live it.
It’s all about the choice.

Choose Jesus. First, foremost, and in every moment. It’s the only choice that matters.

Live Blessed,
Heather

Handling Life and Its ALL: Call On Grace Himself

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Anyone else? I’m clearly at a place where I can not handle it all. My normal leaning on God takes on a whole new level at this point. If ALL THIS is any indication that it’s true that the worst attacks come to try to stop the Big in the Plan, then I can’t help but wonder what will be on the other side of this.

In all this pain, I’ll be thankful. In all this dependency on others, I’ll be thankful. In all this waiting, I’ll be thankful. And in all these days where the tears flow from the pain, the frustration, the unknowing, the stress… I’ll be in love with the One who has it all in His hands. I thought maybe I’d been through enough of the bad in life to tell what He did to bring good from it all, but I surely will have more to testify to regarding God’s great goodness among the trials. My story isn’t over yet. And yours isn’t either. Because He is the God of ALL Grace.

I’m
Still
Working …
On that “changes” announcement.
On the specific things I said I’d share since the summer.
On telling you what I see God doing in my life and ministry… because I treasure you going with me.

Soon, Beloved.
Soon.

It’s just all there waiting for something. It’s there. I just need to get it from my brain to your ears.

I was overwhelmed with love by all the comments and messages regarding my last post – the “apology”. Goodness will surely follow you all the days of your lives.

Because when you love… You shine your Light.

#ALLIN
❤️ ~ Heather

Our Everyday Language Is Important to How We Portray Truth

Our everyday language as Christ Followers is important to how we portray the Truth.

“Sending (or requesting) prayers and good vibes” for a situation is not language that portrays the Truth of God.

That “good vibes” comment, and other similar language like “luck”, is giving credence to the notion that prayers are not useful or powerful… possibly leading to a wrong thought that God doesn’t exist. Good vibes never heal, never bless, and never point to God. Does it hurt you as the Believer? Maybe, maybe not. But it doesn’t help non-Believers at all. They see that wishy-washy at best, and not fully committed to God.

Give no offense to the Jews or the Greeks or the church of God, just as I also try to please all people in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, so that they may be saved. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:32-33 (HCSB)

This conviction came to me a few years back when I would lightly use the phrase “good luck” or something similar. As I listened to God, I started hearing more of these language iniquities. Let us speak so that many may know God and the truth.

Be Loved, Beloved,
Heather

STANDING FOR TRUTH IN TODAY’S CULTURE

I agree in many ways with the observation that some Believers (not our place to judge if they are saved or not) have succumbed to a changing mind-thought. But I always, with hope, remember that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. THANKFULLY! Solid ground for those of us who DESIRE to follow Him all the way can stand firm on.

Many are misinterpreting (to say the least) God’s Truth. This has happened throughtout history by those who claim to be (and may very well be) Born Again Believers. That doesn’t make them right. They can’t be right when they go against Truth.

The silent voices of Believers who stand in the Truth must not continue to be silent. We do not have to agree with the opposite of Truth but we are called to LOVE those who are confused by it and call out in LOVE those who distort the Truth. Sometimes God has us be silent… until His perfect timing tells our mouths to open. And that’s discernment we must pray for.

But let the voices of Truth be heard – in LOVE. He never promised easy. In fact He said to rejoice even in troubles.

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. ~ Romans 5:3-5 ESV

Be Loved, Beloved.
~ Heather

Racism, Skepticism, and Other “Isms” {Why People Choose to Offend}

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The past week has brought heart and soul strife. The kind that leaves you just shaking your head in disbelief. The kind where you are so hurt that you just feel the return to peace is too high of a cost. You know what I am taking about, don’t you?

 

They hurt others because they choose to hurt others. And they twist words to a fit so pointed that the darts they throw are tiny shards of sin aiming straight at your heart.

 

I have a story to tell you… two in fact… from this past week. I usually don’t tell stories so quickly. I pray over things that happen, I forgive them, and I listen for God’s voice over all the clamoring gongs of turmoil. Oh, I’ve listened for God this time, as I always try to do. And this time His words and comfort came so quickly that my heart and soul are settled:

 

It’s time to dust off the feet, friends.

 

There are many “isms” that cause a spasm in our lives, aren’t there, Beloved Friends? There are some “isms”, like truisms, that carry the weight of Truth in them so as to shine light. I love those “isms” for they cause no spasm. It’s the many others – the bad “isms” – that inflict pain that cause this gal to run to pray against the temptation of a hardened heart. Racism, skepticism (of those speaking in love), absolutism, humanism. It’s a long list.

 

It is all just absurdism.

 

And social media makes it all worse. I use my social media wisely… to live, learn, and love… but others use it to spread their “isms”. You know. Those “social” places where even when others know their names, there is that wee-bit of anonymity that empowers them to jump out and attack. And even those people we know in real time… they aren’t “really” in our living rooms, so they answer their inner desire to slam their “isms” on us.

I love to discuss all things in respectful ways {there is that live, learn, love thing}, and anyone who truly reads my words here or on social media knows that about me. But when the bad “isms” start to fly like lies with wings fast and furious – as they did this past week – this gal wants nothing to do with it.

 

And so it goes…
She posted a comment {among many} that begged a certain a question:

If I didn’t have (class, homework, work, whatever), then I’d be at the protests in Ferguson.

 

Now when people post on social media, they want “social” interaction, do they not? Well of course. Other wise they would speak it to someone in their living room {ahem}. The question that comment begged for discussion? The one my daughter was bold enough to ask in a loving way to a person she had spent two years with at a common grounds place:

Why? When everyone waited for the evidence (some didn’t wait before spewing hatred), the officer was found innocent, and only practicing self and community defense, by medical examination of both parties and eye witness accounts that stood the test of scrutiny of truth, what is left to protest? And why would anyone want to be where property was being destroyed and people were getting hurt? How does that help?

 

Now my daughter wrote her question in a very loving way; I just paraphrased it above. If you follow my daughter’s writings, you’d know beyond a shadow of doubt how lovingly she engages people. Of course if you have an agenda as large as her friend did, you’d ignore the fact you know that Emerson is loving, just to throw out the bad “isms”. The AGENDA.  {I hate agendas. I might have mentioned that a time or two in my life and ministry.}

And this “friend” and her friends, some of which were well into adulthood, started hammering my daughter’s intent by telling her she was horrible for even asking. What they did was claim that my daughter was a racist, and not a good Christian for asking. Why did they say these things? All because she believed the evidence as presented by the governing body in charge of finding out the truth… all because she is white and so was the officer. Now tell me… isn’t that attack full of “racism” itself? Yes. Yes it is.

 

You believe them because they are white. – The Crowd raged on.

 

They totally skipped over the part Emerson wrote about how there are better ways to make changes to those things that need changed besides rioting and destroying property and lives. They totally skipped over the part about how loving one another means understanding that a family is hurting because they lost a loved one, but it also means treating all parties with fairness and respect. They totally skipped over the part where the boy wasn’t a boy, he was a man who made choices that brought him to the place of consequence. They totally skipped over the part where the “unarmed boy” was trying to take a weapon from an officer in a fight instigated by himself… taking a weapon means he would be armed. They totally skipped the part where one doesn’t have to have a gun to have a weapon… people are beaten to death with weapons called hands. I could go on and on, but these points are understood by rational thinking humans and moot to those who have an agenda to push. My daughter understands that there is evil in this world that people perpetrate, and that Satan is behind every bit of it. I also understand that. But people make choices to follow that evil and they pay the consequences in this life. It is all very sad. It is sad that someone died that day. And it is said that it almost was the other person. It’s all incredibly sad. But to attack someone in a genuine conversation on a post that is meant to garner conversation. They skipped over so much truth.

What they did not skip – but ran right over to – was the “racism” in an awful circular argument by using racism against my daughter. Racism goes both ways, folks.

Yes, slavery was horrid. Yes, equality discrimination in the last 100 years based on color is horrid. But so is lumping all white people together and destroying property and wanting revenge. By the way, it isn’t fair to say that white people have not experienced oppression and slavery. All one needs to CHOOSE to do is educate themselves on what the actual Pilgrims went through before they came here to be free. They were slave to a monarchy that told them they couldn’t have a Bible or assemble together in the True Word of God. Many suffered this oppression of inequality and slavery for years and years, before one hundred and two of them got on a boat and became half as many through disease on that trip… all to find freedom.

By the way…
No one can say this country wasn’t founded by Christians… except disingenuous folks… but that is an article for another day.

No one should even compare their past, or their ancestors past, since they don’t even know where the other’s ancestors came from. Some white people are decendents of the Jewish that were slaves to Nazism. Another horrid “ism”.

Please, why all the yelling at each other to say “my experience is worse than yours”? How about just lovingly share experiences, past and present, and try to understand the basics of each and the Truth that sets it all free?

 

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. ~ Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

 

It’s hard, friends. Like this experience my daughter had was super hard, because she cared that much. These people? This “friend” of my daughter who claimed to be Christian (part of that common ground place where they met)? Her mother who “unfriended” me on social media after this… and all after she had reached out to me two years later from that common ground place we all knew each other to help encourage me through my illness? They didn’t care. Disingenuous, indeed.

They hurt others because they choose to hurt others. And they twist words to a fit so pointed that the darts they throw are tiny shards of sin aiming straight at your heart.

 

It’s no wonder the world talks about Christians the way it does. Christians throw “isms” around like it is fine, even ordained by God… who by the way hates the bad “isms”. I hate them too. Why? Because they hurt. But then I remember, as I have retreated to protect myself from the heart hardening effect those “isms” have…

 

Those people CHOOSE to offend. And in reality… I choose to be offended.
So today, I choose differently after contemplation and learning from God …

 

No more offending me. Offend my God though? And we will be having a talk.

 

Oh… I am spent emotionally. The other story has many lessons on this “racism” thing too. Perpetrated against me after I asked someone about a comment they left on social media to me that I didn’t want to make assumptions about. I truly wanted to learn, to get an answer. I will write about it in the next few days. I just don’t have the energy to pour it out today after this. It’s heavy stuff, friends.

Maybe you are reading this and you want to justify what people like this do? Maybe you are reading this and you do these things? Can you just stop and listen to the pain you cause? God never called us to that. Let us dialogue in loving manners.

Likely, you are reading this thinking about the times you have been mistreated this way. I feel for you, Beloved friends. All I can really say with certainty is this…

KEEP LOVING OTHERS.

He will bless you for it.

Live Blessed,
Heather

#Thankful Again {If I am Persecuted}

My daughter is … love lived out. Her words here strike me like a lightning bolt of love.

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“I never thought that the insults, lies, and persecutions would come so often from other Christians. I am in no way perfect, but I always try to follow God’s ways and not my own. It’s astounding how many Christians there are that will blatantly go against God and even try to twist His Words to fit their own agenda. I refuse to change God, or His Word, to make Him what I want Him to be. I will continue to seek His truth and speak it in love.

Label me what you wish. Reject me if you’d like. You do not define me. You did not create me… God did. You do not know what is on my mind… God does. You do not know what is in my heart… God does.

Only God.

I will serve only God – the One True God, whose truth will prevail regardless of how it is twisted and abused. I will keep speaking the truth in love. I will keep pressing on, and I will forgive those who hurt me as God has forgiven me.

If I am persecuted, even by other Christians who only want to hear their own “truth”, or if I lose everything in order to speak God’s truth… So be it. Jesus gave His life for me. I will give it all for Him.”

~ Emerson Mertens

***

From even before the day she was born, as I carried her in my womb, I prayed:

God, You have changed my life so drastically that I could never say thank you enough. I give this child I carry back to You. You will do big things through her. I trust in that Lord.

Those “things” began very quickly in her life. I should write a book just about what all God has done through her.

And now, after all the trials she has come through with us and on her own, I see the woman of God that He has made her to be and is continually molding her into. I could not be MORE proud of her as a SISTER in Christ our First Love, and I could not be more proud as a MOM.

My daughter, my Sister, you will never stand alone, and you will never stand lonely.

Love,
Your Mom, Your Sister

***
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I’m thankful for your love and encouragement as I pour out my heart and soul here and at GoingALLIN.org. You are an answer to a prayer!

#Thankful. In a Very Different Way

In my mind I can think of a million shards of memories that try to come together to remind me of a life in torture that I used to live. Those moments. Those which found me screaming out in wretched pain. Those which found me wanting to just sleep and never wake up.

No one has any inkling, even when I put into words, how horrible… and lonely… it was for me all those years ago.

But I’m so thankful. Beyond words.

Why? Because those memories do not come together to form that same puzzle anymore. I am actually thankful for those memories. For they remind me…

They remind me that I looked up and chose to continue on. I was always walking in the Plan… and I finally saw the Truth. I’ve got the Puzzle Maker… the Plan Maker. The Architect.

Jesus was always in it.

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Now those shards come together, perfectly glued to form a picture that I love today. Those parts and pieces were allowed to shatter for what came later… and what is to come.

I’m set aside for this. Exactly this. My long lonely life has prepared me. How could I not be thankful for that.

No question. No question mark.

Don’t give up if you are in the middle of a million shards, Dear Hearts. The Plan Maker is right in the middle of it with you. #ALL IN.

Live blessed,
Heather

Top 10 Joyous Answers to Share with Your Bah-Humbuggie Friends That Poo Poo Christmas

I studied this “Christmas or Not to Christmas” thing since my baby was young (she is 20 now!). I can find no reason not to claim it for God and celebrate Jesus and all the joy He brings. My husband and I did teach our child that Santa Claus is not real (she knew instinctively at age 3 and told me!) and who he is based off of in real life. We did teach her the REAL reason for the season. We did teach her joy and compassion and giving. She accepted Christ wholeheartedly into her life at age 4. She still celebrates Jesus everyday and at Christmas time. Having said that, here are my top 10 Joyous answers!

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Reason #10 to tell the Humbuggies who complain about anyone decorating for Christmas/celebrating early (or at all): Everything a Christian does should be from the heart. If a Christian celebrates the real reason for Christmas from the heart, then other Christians should allow them to do that and love. Let’s not give the world another reason to talk about us the way they do because we complain about each other. We are either celebrating Jesus or complaining so the world hears us and makes fun of us and doesn’t listen. Those are some valid reasons why. I just don’t want to give up those opportunities God gives me to love others.

Reason #9: Santa isn’t the enemy. Do you tell your children the real reason for the holiday and that Santa is merely a representation of a real man who gave gifts to children long ago in his town. Now he represents the gift of love that Christ offers. It’s what we teach our children from the beginning that will help them to live a Godly life. Don’t let society teach your children.

Reason #8: If Christians boycott holidays just because of their history, instead of taking them back for God, then we are handing them over willingly to the enemy. Let’s just not.

Reason #7: Gift giving, including decorating and celebrating, is a form of gifting love just as God gifts us love. Celebrate the gift of love.

Reason #6: Please don’t pick and choose from the Bible things that you want to emphasize and twist. That’s called an agenda. Christmas isn’t an agenda on either side of this coin. It’s a time to spread the love of Christ. {And if you are a Christian – don’t send “holiday season’s greetings” cards. Tell people about Christ! I realized that this is the one time of year that *nearly* everyone is tolerant when receiving a card or gift so let it be a seed planted!

Reason #5: You don’t accept gifts when they come from a person’s heart just because it’s a Christmas gift? Please. Accept the gift. They do it because they love.

Reason #4: Stop complaining about other Christians. Aren’t we supposed to LOVE ONE ANOTHER? You are always welcome at my house… even when I hang up a light early. I’ll probably have a gift for you even if you don’t want it. :)

Reason #3: It doesn’t matter who started the Christmas holiday. What matters is that people CHOSE to celebrate the birth of Christ and the peace He brought to this world. Don’t let the awful commercialism get you down. Jesus IS the reason.

Reason #2: God tells us that ALL things belong to Him. We should remember that and be wise to not let anyone take that away in our lives. No pagan god ever made a tree or an ornament or a light or a gift. Celebrate Jesus as the reason and He will know your heart.

Reason #1 : Take full advantage of the opportunities God gives to bless others in the Holy-day season. Most recognize the Christmas holiday. Some of those could be lonely, ill, without family, longing for joy in their lives, leaving to be deployed, moving away from family… and others just simply want to be cheery and bright!

Live Blessed,
Heather

The Every Second of Living {Why I Don’t Let One Pass}

Appreciating every second is a little overwhelming if you don’t take a deep breath and really think about what that means. Especially in those times of trouble and trials. Life can throw it at us, can’t it? But I’ve come to know that if I appreciate everything in the moment I am living, noticing what is in that second of time, then appreciating it all is where I find the most peace in my seconds. I could expend all that worry I used to do, or I could bounce that time and energy into looking for what I can appreciate and be thankful for in those seconds.

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I remember when my daughter was born and I decided then that I would never let a moment go by without appreciating it. I had seen how others had missed so much of their children’s lives and those amazing once in a lifetime jewels that occur with no notice whatsoever. I am so blessed to have been able to stay home with my daughter for most of her growing up years. Her father and I sacrificed so much so that I could be home with her as much as possible. God provided help in various ways, and for that I will be forever grateful. But the sacrifices were what made the entire choice and experience so rich in those seconds.

 

“I know we don’t have much. But we have God and with God all things are possible.”

 

Those seconds… that I didn’t let pass… those were the richest.

Through those years, and to this very day, I have tried my hardest to not miss a detail. It was not always easy but it was never terribly difficult. Oh, we had our days where it seemed awfully difficult, but those were usually the days in which we didn’t trust or lean in to God enough. It’s just a different life when we do.

My heart is full to the brim with thankfulness that I saw those defining moments all along. I remember her first words, her first steps, her riding a bike for the first time, and everything… every second… in between. I can’t stress how huge the impact is of savoring every second with your children. I have a life experience others miss. I hear them with heavy voice claim the sadness that they let it fly by all too fast because their kids are nearly grown or already moved on with their own lives.

So lean in… listen close…

How does one appreciate every second, really? Truly? It sounds so hard.

 

You choose to. It’s that easy.

You just choose.

 

#ItsAllInTheChoice

 

Lived blessed,
Heather

 

 


 

Coming Next Week: 

Part 2 in the Beating Chronic Pain Series and the official unveiling of ALL IN.

Coming Soon:

Part 2 of Trading Hope for Sex to Find Love {50 Shades of Grey in My Real Life} … yes, I do go deep into that world of memories, but only in hopes to help those who are living inside of it.

 

If you’d like to read the soul-deep stuff I share, you can get me in your email inbox… Well, not really me. ;)

 

 

Have you gone ALL IN yet? I invite you to the ministry that has been in my heart for a decade.
It’s different than anything you may have ever seen. It’s #ALL IN for Christ.

GoingALLIN.org

 

You Coming? { #ALLIN }

You coming?

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Why am I not trying harder? Why do I let days pass by unintended? Why do I not take this relationship MORE seriously? It isn’t religion. It isn’t ritual. It isn’t expected. It is a friendship of the best kind. Unfathomable to the human condition, while the power of choice resides within us. The power given to us… to choose. To choose to go ALL IN.

I’m about to go even more ALL IN. The time is imperative. The time is now. Life is short. Shorter than I ever realized.

I am going even more ALL IN.
You coming?

#ALLIN
#ALLNewComingSoon

Why Jesus? { #ALLIN }

In man’s very best attempt at being good, we fail to ultimately please ourselves enough to bring upon redemption. We inherently know the impossibility of that, which is why there are numerous religions.

There are some that chart out the ways to earn redemption and others that state a soul is reincarnated in an effort to try again to be good enough for redemption. Still there are others that simply offer pleasures that are only earthly and never redemptive. There is only one God who can gift redemption and His name is Jesus Christ. The only One to offer true Hope.

~ Heather

 

 

Could You Be Sharing Fake Christianity? ~ {Living #ALLIN for Christ}

Hi friends,
I’m “out” for my health for a bit. I am concentrating on my treatment and God. He sustains me. I’ve received so many beautiful messages and email and comments about my health – and my last several posts – that I’m still catching up! Thank you sooooo much for those and for your prayers! I feel them. I’ve not forgotten you and pray God blesses each one of you. ❤️ You have blessed me.

I received a beautiful message from a new friend and it contained this Scripture that goes well with one of those posts:

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life…Galatians 6:7-8

I will reblog the post that drew so much attention… some ignored me and left me, but the vast majority shared how glad they were to read it … some grateful for having eyes opened to this disturbing trend. Many shared they had come to this Truth as well and are glad to connect with others who are truly checking things with God.

In case you missed it… Here is what has been so very very heavy on my heart for a long time.
Blessings,
Heather

Heather Mertens ~ 40YearWander

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Should it take us so long in our faith walk to get to the point we are making every decision based in God’s Word? I realize it does … that it’s common. But I don’t think God intended it to be that way. Scripture mentions the renewing of our mind. I think we prolong that and sometimes avoid it in some areas.

Take for instance, the following and sharing of certain Bible teachers and their words. It’s running rampant among Christians to glean learning, and then share it, from those who’s Salvation theology is clearly not Biblical.

“Any theology which ignores Jesus Christ as the supreme Authority ceases to be Christian theology.” ~ Oswald Chambers

Let’s check everyone we follow and read and share. We can’t be lukewarm.

I’ve had this on my heart so VERY heavily lately. I’ve been sharing about it. I have received messages from Believers saying…

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Are You Sharing Fake Christianity? ~ {Living #ALLIN}

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Should it take us so long in our faith walk to get to the point we are making every decision based in God’s Word? I realize it does … that it’s common. But I don’t think God intended it to be that way. Scripture mentions the renewing of our mind. I think we prolong that and sometimes avoid it in some areas.

Take for instance, the following and sharing of certain Bible teachers and their words. It’s running rampant among Christians to glean learning, and then share it, from those whose Salvation theology is clearly not Biblical.

“Any theology which ignores Jesus Christ as the supreme Authority ceases to be Christian theology.” ~ Oswald Chambers

Let’s check everyone we follow and read and share. We can’t be lukewarm.

I’ve had this on my heart so VERY heavily lately. I’ve been sharing about it. I have received messages from Believers saying they see Truth in it and that my heart is to follow after Scripture all the way. Some very nice messages. Some “thank yous.” That is confirmation. God blesses me through you.

But I’ve also received bad treatment from other Believers. Even people who’ve unfriended and blocked me on Facebook. I just can’t help but think they don’t really want to hear the truth.

Avoidance.

And that concerns my soul for them.

Oh this is heavy.

I had one person ask me if I had a helpful list of these preacher/teachers to steer clear from. I think that’s a good idea – without cutting them down of course. That is not the way God would want it.

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I also only want to do that on God’s leading, because I don’t know the true state of some of these preacher/teacher’s salvation in their heart.

Some are clearly teaching and believing false doctrine. If they are preaching false doctrine and they’re not saved that’s one thing … a sad thing… a prayer is needed. If they say outright that Jesus is NOT the only way in some form or another… are they really saved? They are not.

But…
Maybe they’re Believers but just backsliding or lukewarm. But I’m not sure how God feels about all that ultimately. If they are preaching a false doctrine because they been deceived and they truly have given their life to Christ that’s another thing.

Jesus is crystal clear in The Word when He says He is the only Way. The ONLY WAY.

Christians sound like hypocrites to the world when they share a false teaching. If it matters to God, it should matter to us. We must be on guard. He gives us armor for a reason.

I DO NOT believe Christ Followers should go out on a hunt for those who are not speaking Truth in Christ. I do not do this. However it is rampant these days all over the internet.

It is extraordinarily important to listen to the Holy Spirit when He warns us. If we are constantly checking ourselves, and all that we take in, to the Scriptures, then we will be aware when we need to be. It is important that we should check into those we follow through reading and Biblical teaching. Should they turn out to be teaching a false salvation theology, then they are not people we should be learning from. If they have error mixed in with Truth, then Truth still prevails, but we are held accountable for what we share and base our complete theology on.

We can not ignore the Holy Spirit. The Church is being eroded from the underside with those who call themselves Christians, but then turn around and say that Jesus is not the only way to God and eternal life. Christ Followers, watch and proceed with God’s caution.

It is not usually difficult to find quotes from each teacher or voice speaking, about eternal life and spiritual things, in order to find their true beliefs. Don’t be lukewarm.

Here is a good question to ask ourselves:

How much does this person I am following quote from God’s Word?

If they rarely or never do, if they twist it, then check to see if what they teach is their agenda instead.

That’s why I’m so leery to share quotes and recommend anything from these teachers, because I just don’t know ultimately where someone might end up if they followed them based on my recommendation. I do not want to lead or be lead astray.

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. ~ James 3:1

Ann Lamott (and many like her) are examples of this. She has said in interviews and writes in her very own words that while she claims to have found God through Jesus that she believes Jesus is NOT the only way to God and eternal life.

She is not the only writer/speaker out there who believes this. This should be obviously identified as a false salvation theology, and my heart is shattered over all the sharings and “amens” of these falsehoods by Christians. Why, oh why, are we not checking into a person’s full beliefs before sharing on social media, with our friends, and on our sites?

God warns in His Word. ONLY God knows the heart and salvation of someone, and just as I can’t determine that state of their soul, neither can these who say they “know” that all people go to be with God in Heaven at their death – as these people claim in their Unitarian and New Age Universalist views.

Troubling.

I’ve been very troubled since I’ve seen a storm of quotes by Christians on FB and the web in the last year by people such as Henri Nouwen, Marianne Williamson, Rob Bell, Ann Lamott and other Universalists/New Agers.

Universalism is Unitarian. It is not Scriptural. One may not believe in Christ as the only way to eternal life, but a Christian can not say it can be either through Christ or another way. That questions their salvation in and of itself. I do not claim to know a person’s salvation nor the salvation of these which I listed, but by their theological “fruit” I can discern with caution how to proceed.

— From Sabbatical Journey, Henri Nouwen’s book (page 51, 1998)

“Today I personally believe that while Jesus came to open the door to God’s house, all human beings can walk through that door, whether they know about Jesus or not. Today I see it as my call to help every person claim his or her own way to God.”

That clearly shows what Nouwen believes.

On another note some quotes sound so good! I hear this:

“I use them just because they are good and I hope people reading what I share understand.”

But aren’t WE responsible for what we teach? God says “yes”.

A quote from someone that is Truth in and about Christ is always Truth. It’s just troubling to think how many Christians might be deceived into following the whole of a person’s theology instead of a Truthful quote just because a person has lots of good quotes. And to those seeking God reading them, might it be a bad direction to send them in with no context? It very well might be. That’s why I’m so very careful who I quote. Should I find out later that which should be retracted… I’d do so and explain why.

For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.
~ 2 Corinthians 11:4

I’m
Heart
Shattered

These past few years, I’ve been taken aback and the Holy Spirit has maintained my heart conviction that Christians are following *seemingly* Godly people. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across people liking FB pages, sharing teachings, and writing about what they’ve learned from people who claim Christianity BUT say that Christ is NOT the only way to Heaven and eternal salvation.

What they say sometimes might be truth in context to Jesus because Truth is always Truth, but PLEASE check their salvation beliefs. If what they claim ultimately about salvation is opposite of what Jesus says then run. Do not walk. Do not let yourselves be deceived even a little. If even the elect should be deceived.

They are many. And it’s much easier to be fooled by the enemy when the person we are listening to looks and sounds like us *most* of the time.

My daughter, Emerson, wrote a beautiful piece on her site that included this:

“And the fact that so many Christians are accepting that which should be obviously opposite of biblical truth is incredibly appalling and leaves me questioning who can even be trusted anymore. How can one claim to follow Christ, but ignore and negate His very teachings? If one verse of the Bible is false, is the entire Book not compromised in its integrity? If we believe it is divinely inspired by God Himself, but we do not take every word of it as true or correct, then how can we claim the rest of it to be true? If God were to allow errors in His truths and principles, how could we trust any of what He says? Would the only other option not be that He lied to us? If we read the Word in this way, we undermine its very authority and we lay a shaky foundation for our beliefs. We also inadvertently deny God’s holiness, righteousness, sovereignty, and trustworthiness, and we claim to know better than He does.”

Please share this everywhere you can if you agree in checking those we learn from and share. Please share if you know we must be more careful… especially in the times in which we find ourselves living. We need to get this word out there.

If you are in the “crowd”, you might consider that they have it wrong. Jesus didn’t follow the crowd… He led it.
It’s never easy to speak out for what is right in the eyes of God.

It’s always easy to follow a crowd. But is the crowd checking with Him?

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Live Blessed and #ALLIN,

Heather

If you’d like to read the soul-deep stuff I share… I’m eternally grateful to walk this journey with you… You can get me in your email inbox… Well, not really me. ;)

Who Really Defines You? {Live #ALLIN}

There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head.

Well,” she said, “I think I’ll braid my hair
today?” So she did and she had a
wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. “H-M-M,” she said, “I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today?” So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. “Well,” she said, “today I’m going to wear my hair in a pony tail.” So she did and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in
the mirror and noticed that there
wasn’t a single hair on her head.
“YEA!” she exclaimed,
“I don’t have to fix my hair today!”

Attitude is everything.

Be kinder than necessary,
for everyone you meet is fighting
some kind of battle.
-Author Unknown

Wish I had written that.

It makes the perspective come alive in
imagery, doesn’t it?

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I still have issues with not letting others’ bad attitudes get me upset sometimes, but I ALWAYS turn to God for the guidance and the grace to know how to deal with it. I learned a long time ago while wandering through life that the way others act has absolutely nothing to do with my re”act”ion.

Why should anyone else define who
I am?

The Great I AM says they don’t –
let Him define who you are.

Matthew 10:31 ~ Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

I want so badly to live ALL IN for Jesus.

Live #ALLIN,
Heather

You Could Come Now. {#ALL IN}

You could come now.

In my home are hearts that are open to love you no matter what you’ve done.

In my home are many Bibles. They will tell you … they have foretold… ALL you need to know.

We could talk.
About what is happening in your life.
About what is happening in the world today.
What is going to happen at some point.
As is foretold.

Some say we don’t have much time left here as shown by all that is going on in this world.

Some say we might not have much time so be aware.

I say…
No matter what…
our humanity means we each don’t have much time here.

You could come later to hear the Truth, reach out for Truth.
Or you could come now.
Please. Don’t wait.

No beautiful pictures today.
No.
Just an invitation.

You could come now.
You don’t even have to travel.
He’s right there beside you. Waiting.

Dear Hurting Soul,
I’m open heart, deep and wide, to tell you, show you..
what this gift means to YOU.
My home is my heart and my heart is in Jesus. You need to know how much He loves you.

You will never know such love in another.