Thursday, November 29, 2012

Why I Wrote This Blog!

            My reason for this blog:
            “. . . to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.”  (Isaiah 61:1)

            The goal for all believers:
            “He called a little child and had him stand among them.  And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.’” (Matthew 18:2-4). 

            Well, hello there!  My name is Heather.  And what I have put here are some resources that I hope will encourage and inspire other Christians on their walk with the Lord.  There is a section that explores “God’s Will,” where I share how I understand His “Will” and what it means for Christians.  There is a “Bible Study” that I put together, intended for people who have been walking with the Lord for a while.  There are some random, thought-provoking posts: questions to ask God and others, and a post on why we eat what we do.  And, in the October posts, there are two books that I spent the last five years writing.  And I am inviting you to read them for free.  Yep, that’s right . . . totally free!  

            Free?  That’s outrageous, you say.  Why would you do that?  And surely there must be some catch!   Honestly, there really is no catch.  Both books are free and both are here in their entirety.  In the “Why These Books Are Free” post, I explain more about why I put five years’ worth of work out there for free.  But for now, let me say that when God helps heal the damage caused by your past and when He gives you insights into how that happened, you want to share it with others.  To help them find healing.  To help them in their relationships – with themselves, with others, and ultimately, with God.  And this is why I am giving these books to you.  (If you do not want to read all this in book form, I reposted excerpts from these books and more about my journey after these books at my other blog, myimpressionisticlife.blogspot.com.  Go there for more "bite-sized" posts.)  
            The first book, Child of Mine:  My “Sweetly Broken” Journey, is about  . . . well . . . my journey to being sweetly broken.  It’s about the good times and the bad as I have gone through the different stages of my life so far, from naive child to cocky young adult to smug married woman to confident mom.  And then, it’s about the fall that I took from that high horse.  It’s about the hard lessons I have learned and the beautifully-painful trials that have moved me from fearful self-sufficiency to being a “sweetly broken” child of God.  But mostly, it’s a story about how God can take broken pieces and make something beautiful. 
            And my story is not too different from so many other people’s stories.  We all have pasts full of pain and heartache and longing.  We all have fears and doubts and insecurities.  And whether we acknowledge it or not, these things affect our relationships – with ourselves, with others, and with God.  And I hope that by honestly sharing my story, you may find something of yourself in it, something that resonates with you and that helps bring you some encouragement or insight or healing.    
            But instead of just writing my story, I went a step further and wrote Through the Furnace:  Your “Sweetly Broken” Journey.  I took the lessons and insights that I gained during my “time in the furnace” and I put them into a workbook-style devotional guide to (hopefully) help you work through issues from your past and any hindrances in your relationship with God right now. 
            As a licensed counselor, I love helping others gain insights into their lives and overcome their hurts, scars, and fears.  I believe that my role as a counselor is not to tell people what to believe, but to gently encourage them and to walk beside them as they explore their lives and sort out truth from falsehood.  I believe that most of us just need some gentle guidance and some fresh perspective in order to overcome the things that weigh us down and to find the truth that is there.  With God’s help, of course. 
            And that is what I hope Through the Furnace does – that it helps you explore your own life and fears, with God’s help.  So that you can find God’s Healing and Truth and Love and have a more authentic, fulfilling relationship with Him.  Nothing would fill my heart more than to know that someone was helped by something they found in these books.  [Actually, what would fill my heart the most is to know “that my children are walking in the truth.” (3 John verse 4)  But this is right up there with that.]   
            And just to let you know, both books can be done with other people, like a book club.  I provided some questions for each chapter of Child of Mine that you could print up and use as discussion questions.  They are in the "Child of Mine Fellowship Questions" post at the end of the Child of Mine book.  I recommend reading the chapter and answering the questions on your own first, and then getting together with your partner or group to discuss your answers over some wonderful snacks.  Good food and good fellowship!  Can't beat that!  

            Now, I’m going to say this up front so you know what you’re getting yourself into:  I am a rock solid, Bible-believing Christian.  So when I say “God,” I am not talking about some mystical, New Age version of God.  A god that is whatever or whoever we want it to be.  I do not believe that all roads lead to Heaven.  I do not believe that we can make up our own rules. 
            When I say “God,” I am talking about the God of the Bible.  I am talking about God the Father.  And the Holy Spirit.  And my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ . . . who provides us with the only way to Heaven.  And in order to have the most abundant and rewarding life here on earth and in eternity, we need to seriously consider our relationship with Him.  Because in the end, only what we do for Him and His kingdom will last.  It is my sincere hope and prayer that this blog will help you on your journey to the most enriching, complete relationship with Him possible.  Well, this side of eternity, at least.
Take care and God bless you!  And to God be all the glory!!!  Your friend in Christ,
Heather

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A place for your thoughts and questions. If you would like, think of this as a big, online, "book-club" meeting where you can all interact, answer each other's questions, and encourage each other. Please keep comments godly and uplifting because I will delete any that are mean or clearly ungodly. I want this to be an encouraging, safe place to interact. God bless!