The Linchpin

Christ is the Cornerstone of the church.

Our day of rest is the linchpin of our ministry to him.  If we try and work and serve him seven days a week, we will find out very quickly just how weak our supposed strength really is.

We are absolutely dependent on Christ and his ministry in and through us during this limited time we have on terra firma, and this dependency is best realized and appreciated when we take regular time to stop and wait on him.

Don’t get me wrong.

Hard work is valuable and essential to a successful and prosperous life.

Even our spiritual ministries demand strict discipline and great effort.

It is for these very reasons that periodic seasons of rest are indispensable.

Our bodies, minds, and spirits are finely tuned creations that must not be driven like pack mules.

They must be nurtured, cherished, and regularly maintained, if they are to last on this arduous trek to our homeland.

When we rest, we don’t stop living.  

We continue to eat, sleep, take walks, read the Bible, pray, watch television, and check our email—like Marvin Zindler used to say to close the news, “Whatever makes you happy!”

Maybe that is it; we need to take time to be happy.

Many times in life, our job is to make someone else happy, like our boss, our spouse, our friends, or our children. We must serve and fulfill our responsibilities in this life. However, if we don’t take time to be happy ourselves, we will ultimately fail in all of our other missions in life.

When we take time to stop and rest and wait on the Lord, we make God happy.

And when he is happy, all will be well with us!

~ Brad Heilhecker


WORTHY THOUGHT:A true princess knows who she is in Christ Jesus.

I am not referring to the Disney character princesses. Those can give a false sense of image “how much attention can I get” in a pretend dress-up Disney character or even the beautiful American Meagan Markle we all watched on live television holding our breaths anticipating and waiting to see the absolutely stunning bride walk down the aisle to marry her Prince Harry. Meagan Markle did look like a princess in the Royal Wedding.

This is the Bible standard of a true princess:

A princess gets wisdom from The Word and defends the truth, she is humble and serves rather than be served, loves good and hates evil and for this has earned the praise of many nations.

True Royalty is not characterized by robes worn or thrones occupied, but by a faithful obedience to the most royal of all, the King of Kings. We have been called to be a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and we honor that royalty by honoring our Lord the King who gave it to us.

I came upon the sweet little girl who had never seen or heard a violin. I was playing in a village in Central America, Guatemala. This little girl walked up to me very curious about my instrument. I kneeled down on my knees to get to her level and make eye contact with this innocent creature. While I played for her, Jesus spoke to my heart and said; “This little girl is my princess”.

Someone in my group took the photo shot of that moment and you can certainly see in the photo she certainly is His princess.

Every girl, it does not matter what culture background wealthy or poor, if you are a daughter of God, believe Christ Jesus the Son of God is your true Lord and Savior then you are by Bible standards, a true princess.

Jesus said in Gospel John 15:16 ” You didn’t choose me! I choose you! I appointed you to go and produce lovely fruit always, so that no matter what you ask for from the Father, using my name he will give it to you.”

If you exalt wisdom, she will exalt you. Hold her fast and she will lead you to great honor; she will place a BEAUTIFUL crown upon your head. –Proverbs 4:9

For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus into good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” –Ephesians 2:10

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. –Philippians 4:3

~ Angela Lipe-Pattengill

Image by Gemima Jimenez

Darkness Had To Leave

How does it feel

Alone in your corner

Hiding your face

Away from the world

I know that your heart

hurts beyond words

Unbearable pain

choked the life out of you

It’s safer here

Away from all eyes

Will you ever find the pieces

of your broken heart

Amongst the vague glimpses

of a future that awaits

When pain ruled your life

You have decided to listen

to darkness within

Drifting further and further away

from your King

Why let darkness decide your destiny?

Holding on to pain

While you possess so much greatness within

So many gifts lay barren

You don’t even know they exist

Clinging to dead things

Dying little by little

Overcome by what life handed to you

Why give darkness

so much power?

Come out of the corner

My child

Step into My light

Let My presence infiltrate

every part of your heart

My glorious light will empower you

Your face will tell a new story

of hope and of mountain moving faith

Let your mouth sing of

My kindness and love

Let your feet dance

To the rhythm of only My voice

Together we will overcome every obstacle

Standing in your way

Mountains we will move

Oceans we will cross

Visit uncharted territories discovered by few

You will leap

You will dance

You will sing a new song

Of a God who turned around

every tragedy for your good

Step out My child

Many captives are waiting

Go to the outskirts

The ghettos

The cities

Be My container of love

Invade every weary soul

Bring healing to every torn heart

Till every prodigal will

be changed by My love

My identity now embedded in you

Gone the wounded child

I am your safe place

You have stepped out

Scared and alone

You did not back down

A warrior was born

Out of the ashes you rose

Your heart stubbornly free

Ready to move to the sound

of only My voice

A brave son and daughter

Darkness had to leave.

~ Ebigale Wilson

Darkness Had To Leave

The Journey

Strong Crying And Tears

The writer of Hebrews tells us that Jesus prayed to the Father, the one who could save him from death, with strong crying and tears, and that he was heard because of his reverent submission.

If we are honest, we will admit that sometimes our normal every day prayers and petitions just aren’t getting the job done. We somehow need to learn to dig deep and find the brokenness and humility to cry out to God with “strong crying and tears.”  

For us guys, tears may be a little hard to come by, but we can all learn to cry out for help when we need it.

There is no shame in calling out to God for help. What might be a crying shame is if we go into a life and death struggle on our own when we could have and should have cried out for help beforehand.

I had a dream where I was in some kind of serious struggle, and I woke up a little just to hear myself say, “Help me; please help me!” Then, I was able to sink back into restful sleep.

A simple lesson, perhaps, but an important one. Often times, we glide through life on auto pilot and things go pretty smoothly, and that is o.k.  But mark my words; hard times will come around, dark days of trouble and sadness.

Even one of Job’s friends knew that “Man is born for trouble, even as sparks fly upward.”  Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes, “Remember the days of darkness, for they will be many.” And in Proverbs he wrote, “Even in death, the righteous have a refuge.”

Ultimately, if we are to hold on to our joy, we must anticipate and prepare for sorrow.  Solomon wrote that there is much sorrow even in wisdom. He knew that the more we know of life, the more we will see heartaches and train wrecks coming and realize that, most of the time, our only refuge is in prayer.

We are often powerless to prevent the suffering, we can only pray for the strength to be of some comfort to people when they need it.  And so, we are back to “strong crying and tears”, our big guns for major attacks.

Mercifully, as the writer of Ecclesiastes wrote, “There is a time and season for all things.”

Let us rejoice in spring and summer, for fall and winter are surely coming, and we will need to be prepared.

Let us store up love and joy and peace during the good times, and we will not be put to shame in the dark times.

We will have Our Father’s abundant comfort to see us through to the end!

~ Brad Heilhecker

Image by David Prior Photography

Loneliness And Fear

Loneliness and fear go hand in hand.

When we are surrounded by our fellow warriors enjoying sweet fellowship, loneliness and fear are melted away.

When we are alone at the midnight hour or rising in the black of the dawn, and there is no one there to encourage us, that is when we face the test.

Will we stay in touch with headquarters and hold our quadrant, or will we retreat to bastions of self indulgent comforts to drown out the terrors of the dark?

Either way, there’s a price to pay.

If we stand and fight, we may die.

If we retreat, we will live with the dread of a future battle that still has to be fought.

If we retreat long enough, we may convince ourselves that the battle is un-winnable.

A life lived in perpetual retreat is a living death.

So, how do we find camaraderie and courage when we are alone?  

Who is going to help us hold our quadrant?

Who is going to speak to our soul: “Do not be afraid.  Stand firm, and you will see the deliverance that the Lord will bring you today.”?

It is not enough to win the day; we must win the night, too.

This is not a part-time war that we are engaged it.

It is perpetual; it is relentless; it is no exaggeration to say that it is a fight to the death.

The enemy wants to kill us, and he will not leave us until we learn how to vanquish him.

May God help us.

No, really; God help us!  “Give us help against the enemy, for the help of man is in vain.”

The Holy Spirit is called the comforter, the counselor, and the Spirit of Christ.

We must be filled with the Spirit if we are going to live and die for Christ.  

If Christ himself is going to live his life through us, we  need all the help we can get, and I don’t mean maybe.

There have been many casualties of war that have resulted from underestimating the enemy.

Our enemy has been around since the dawn of time, and he knows the territory.

He has far more experience opposing God and his children than we have opposing him.

Only God knows how to deal with him effectively. So, “Let us submit ourselves to God, resist the enemy, and he will flee from us.”  Let us say continually, “Come, Lord Jesus.  Come, Holy Spirit.  Come, and lead us home.”

~ Brad Heilhecker