Grace vs. Law, Reciprocity, Healing

Only in Christ will we find the divine grace we need to live well, the fully reciprocal relationship that we envision having, and the complete healing for our war wounded souls.

Counterfeit messiahs abound—promising grace, abundance, fulfillment, and healing. It is up to us to sort through all of the junk mail promising false hope and empty pleasures while we look for that one letter—the one that promises true love, unfailing love, everlasting love.

Until we receive that letter, we are destined to search fruitlessly for relief from the pains of living in a fallen creation.

When that letter arrives, we will find all of the provision that we need for this adventure to which we have been called; we will find the one who will fight for us, walk beside us, and live through us, even as we live through him. We will find that we cannot out give him; he simply won’t allow it; for every ounce of willingness that we offer him, he provides a pound of ability and power. For every weakness and sickness that we bring with us, he has the corresponding strength and health to overcome it.

It goes by different names: abundant life, eternal life, and prosperity; but it all spells out that there is life in Christ, and only in Christ.

Forgiveness, strength, love, pleasure, and power follow wherever Christ leads.

Trouble may always be part and parcel of this life, but, in Christ, we are “more than conquerors through him who loves us.” For every death there is a resurrection, for every tear there is a joy that follows, and for every day lived there is an eternal reward. Yes, in Christ there is grace, reciprocity, and healing—everything that we have been living and waiting for!

— Brad Heilhecker

God Speaks: Prayers, Precepts, and Promises

God still speaks today. He speaks to us in our prayers, in his precepts, and in his promises. E.g., In salvation, you may pray: “Jesus, please come into my heart”, while the Spirit is praying on your behalf: “I give you my life.” In precepts, he is speaking while you ask: “What shall I preach?”, the Spirit answers: “Flee from this world’s system; follow me.” In promises, he is speaking while we plead: “Heal me”; and he answers: “Just obey me, and you will be healed.”

Many wonder, “Does God still speak today?” A much better question is: “Are we still listening today?”

God doesn’t speak just to hear the sound of his voice; he speaks because someone is listening and wants to hear from him. In our connection with heaven, the disconnect is almost always on our end. Does God wait for the right time to speak? Sure he does, just as he is training us to wait before we answer hastily.

Words falling on deaf ears do not profit anyone.

So, if anyone asks you: “Does God still speak today?,” you can answer wholeheartedly, “Most assuredly.”  If anyone asks you: “Is anyone still listening today?,” you may sadly reply, “Very few.”

— Brad Heilhecker

My Confidant

You have parted my many seas

Carried me through the valley of

the shadow of death countless times

In the fire, the furnace, 

You calmed my racing heart

Not for a second my Papa left my side

You are Love, Love, Love

No other other god can compete 

with You 

This battle that I am facing 

is Yours to fight

You did it in the past 

I know without a doubt You 

will do it again

You are my Confidant

Oh how I love it when You 

minister to me

Your presence my greatest reward

I do not deserve Your reckless love

Somehow You bestow it on 

me generously 

Even the days I dissapoint You

Your love pursues me blindly

Have Your way in me Father

Every attack is training,

You taught me so well 

Soon I will reign in a once 

defeated place yet again

No attack, no loss, is wasted 

in Your presence 

You turn everything sent to take 

us out around for our good

I will keep my focus

Lean into You like I always do

Worship You with my whole being 

Countless times I have seen Your 

hand alive in my life

I can tell many stories of how You 

turned my mourning into dancing

My life a living testimony of a 

good, good Father

You see the forgotten

You know the rejected

You heal the broken

Your love draws us from dry 

places to be One with You

You only have precious thoughts 

and plans for us!

— Ebigale Wilson

My Confidant

The Journey

Only Begotten Son

The Apostle John referred to Christ as God’s only son in his Gospel narrative and in his first epistle.

The King James Version and The New American Standard Bible even translate “only son” as “ only begotten son.”  This is significant, because God has many adopted children but only one “natural” child.  Only Jesus was born holy, righteous, and fully redeemed; the rest of us had to be born again by “the Spirit of Christ.”

To be sure, God love’s all of his children equally, but only Jesus reflects Our Father’s attributes perfectly and naturally.  Jesus is fully God; we are not.  We are God’s children and “co-heirs with Christ”, but we desperately need Jesus living in and through us if we are going to reflect God’s character to the world.  The apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians, chapter 3, says that “we, who with unveiled faces all reflect or contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory.”  But the writer of Hebrews states that Christ is the “radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”

It is a perfect circle: God in Christ, and Christ in us. Christ lives because of the Father, and we live because of Christ. Christ lived in perfect obedience to his Father while on earth, and we can live in perfect obedience to Christ here on earth as long as we forever remember that our right standing with the Father is through our faith in the price of eternal death that Christ paid on the cross to gain for us our eternal life.

Our righteousness will forever be Christ’s righteousness imputed to us as a gift.  Christ lived a perfect, sinless life while on earth, and he has gifted to us his perfect standing with the Father.  We are now “brothers” with and “co-heirs” with Jesus!

— Brad Heilhecker


Play… Usually this is considered a word for children. However, it is a word we should all remember. It is a word that we need to keep in our vocabulary.

Here are a couple of verses that actually have the word “play” in them.

Zechariah 8:5 The city’s open places will also be full of boys and girls playing there.

I Samuel 16:23 So it was that whenever the [evil] spirit from God came over Sha’ul, David would take the lyre and play it, with the result that Sha’ul would find relief and feel better, as the evil spirit left him.

Boys and girls playing. Always a special time. I love it when my children play games, run around outside, experience JOY and share it with others. When children play together well, there is peace.

I’m writing this on the eve of my eldest daughters sixteenth birthday. She will have friends coming. Games will happen. I know there will be laughter. Even though she is 16, there will be a time of “play.”

When play happens, there is usually laughter. Laughter is so good for the soul. Laughter is such a positive help for the spirit.

The second verse may not seem quite so lighthearted, but if we stop to reflect on it a bit, we should realize that “play” in this sense also brings peace.

Music, just like play time, does the spirit good. It brings a calmness to our soul. It should draw us into HIS Presence.

When David played the harp, the Presence of the Lord fell and it calmed Saul.

We need to be conscience of what we put into our hearts and minds. We need to make sure that they are filling us with PEACE. That as we play we don’t become so competitive that we harm our spirits. That as we play we ask HIM to be in the middle of it.

I love that we can play and have HIS Presence with us.

This is such a simple understanding. And yet, just like childlike faith, overlooked.

Take time today to reflect on the last time you “played.” Maybe it was a game, maybe it was an instrument, maybe it was music… when was the last time you stopped and focused on just “being in the moment” and letting HIS Presence surround you.

I am thankful for a friend who helped me in this today. She stopped with me, and prayed with me, and in those moments of just “being” His Presence filled us both.

Last week I spoke about “lifting each others hands.” Today, let’s find a way to “play” together. Let’s get back to being boys and girls “playing in the city’s open places” bringing JOY to those around us.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rose Horton

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Time To Strengthen Those Hands

And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. – Nehemiah 2:18, ESV

Have you felt the shift UP a gear in the spirit? Do you find yourself RISING up in new boldness? Are you sensing something BIG is on the horizon, thought you just can’t seem to put your finger on it? Is it sometimes a struggle to believe that surely GOODNESS AND MERCY are chasing you down (Psalm 23:6) because of what you see with your eyes – yet you KNOW in your heart that God is up to something BIG?

I have wonderful news for you – God IS up to something big.  

In fact, I heard Him say this week to “strengthen your hands for the goodness.”  There are some GOOD WORKS coming up, despite the distractions and heaviness the enemy is trying to throw at you right now.

Let me encourage you…..the harvest is ripe, and you WILL see salvations.

Signs and wonders follow those who believe (Matthew 16:17).  Don’t stop believing.

Deliverance will happen in the most unexpected, most needed places.  Get ready.

Communities will be transformed by Jesus.  It’s an overflow from the REVIVAL that is taking place in individual hearts and Christian communities world-wide.

Cultural mountains will bow to the Kingdom of God.  They’ll bow so low we will be able to get a running start and take them for Jesus.

There is a weighty glory that is coming to the Bride, and she must be ready. We must strengthen our hands and hearts for what is to come so that we can carry everything He has destined us to carry. I believe that it is far more magnificent and glorious than our wildest dreams can grasp!

For some, strengthening the hands means learning to fight. Learning to take captive those thoughts that aren’t in line with scripture, and learning to fight back with a victorious decree of truth.

For some, it actually means putting down the sword and letting God fight for you while you rest in complete and utter trust in your good, good Father.

For others, this looks like a new depth to prayer and intercession like you have never known or experienced. It looks like praying in new tongues, crying out with an all-consuming depth that takes you deeper into intimacy, or even a level of travail in the spirit that you didn’t know existed. All of it is glorious and a most beautiful thing.

Yet for many others, strengthening your hands looks like finding your roar.

Bride of Christ, it’s time to strengthen our hands….because we “aint seen nothing yet!”

— Mandy Woodhouse

Unbridled Love

The world demands that God grants them freedom to live with unbridled passion, no matter who gets hurt in the process. Noble passion and enthusiasm are good things, but selfish passion for pleasure, possessions, or prominence usually involves someone else getting hurt.

So, just as we demand freedom from our creator, he requires justice from us.  In the Old Testament, if someone was hurt, exact recompense was required of the offender; equity was demanded—“an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”

Mercifully, we are now under a new covenant where forgiveness and mercy can be freely offered and received since Jesus paid the ultimate price for each and every one of our sins. We are still required to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with Our God,” but we are now just better equipped and empowered by grace to do justice, to show mercy, and to walk humbly with Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

We no longer need a set of laws detailing crimes and the corresponding prescribed punishments; we are bound by the law of love written on our hearts that compels us to go above and beyond the law to assure that we stay rightly related to Our Maker and to our neighbor.

So, our creed and motto now is “unbridled love, not unbridled passion.” Having been forgiven of all of our trespasses and indiscretions, we are now highly motivated to extend this same mercy and kindness to others. We are even able now to “draw near to Our God in full assurance of faith” instead of hiding from him or slavishly trying to win his approval by our good deeds.

Truly, our love has now been “unbridled”; there is no bit in our mouth nor whip in our master’s hand demanding acquiescence; there is just his quiet indwelling Holy Spirit whispering in our ears, “Trust me; listen to me; and do what you see me doing.” The power of love has vanquished all lesser passions and compulsions; we are finally free to live life unfettered from the old nature which was ruled by self preservation and self aggrandizement.

Love is now our home.

— Brad Heilhecker

Existential Angst

Existential angst is the ever present low grade anxiety that accompanies us just because we are alive; it is a counterpart to our free will. It rarely goes away completely, and is only partially relieved when we become resolute about a particular course of action, for even when our mind is made up, there remains the necessity of following through on our decisions.

Will we have the courage of our convictions to sustain us in the battle? When the battle is over, will we still be standing for God’s truth?

This is where the example of our predecessors is invaluable. Has anyone else taken on this fight? Has anyone else stood the test? For even when the fight is prescribed by the Word of God and has been lived out by Christ himself and countless others, it remains for us to “run our race, fight our fight, and to keep our faith.” And we need the encouragement of our comrades, past and present, to sustain us in our battles. Even Christ needed the encouragement of his friends when he faced his final test. His test came when he was called upon to take upon himself the sin of the whole world. Our test comes when we are called upon to cast off our own sin and to walk uprightly before Our Maker.

The bad news is that the existential angst may never leave us completely while we are living on planet earth.  The good news is that we can be secure in the knowledge that “the genuineness of our faith will produce praise and honor and glory when Christ is revealed.”

That’s right: In the middle of our exultation and wonder at the majesty of the glorified Jesus, we ourselves will be praised, honored, and glorified—all for the simple reason that we gave our lives to Jesus and kept faith with him through thick and thin!

— Brad Heilhecker

Your Safe Place

Before the foundation of the

earth you were on His mind

He knows you a lifetime

Your every wrong turn

Every wild journey 

Away from His love

A life wasted you might think

Nothing is wasted in the presence 

of Jesus

He specializes in restoring broken lives

He is drawing you with His love

Your name etched in His hand

Your are safe and secure

Under His mighty wings

Let all confusion go

Cry if you should 

Get rid of negative emotions

He longs to heal your brokenness 

He knows the condition of

your heart

The wrong paths you took

Still His love is a banner over you

Like a mighty wind

A restless river

A runaway fire

Surrounding you from every angle

He knows your struggles 

Is One with your pain

Dry your tears now beautiful one

Your past a vague memory 

Put your hand in His

Winter is past

Your time of singing has come

It is time to run on waves

Rest in His perfect peace

You are forever One with Love

Everything will be ok

He is your strong tower

Your safe place.

— Ebigale Wilson

Your Safe Place

The Journey