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

Silent Disapproval

As ministers of Christ, we must learn to accept rejection, both verbal and non-verbal.  Many times, Christ’s message of repentance and faith falls on deaf ears.  We are not to hinge our confidence on the reaction of others to the truth of the Gospel.  The scripture declares that the majority of people will always be living for themselves and not for Christ.  Only those that have abandoned themselves to the abundant life that Christ offers will be receptive to the whole counsel of God.

The apostle Paul wrote to his co-worker, Timothy, that the purpose of God is that we should be living lives with “love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and an unfeigned faith.”

This is a high standard; it requires that we die to our own goals and aspirations and invite Christ to live through us. This is a daily discipline and an austere discipline indeed. It mitigates against the all too common tendency to espouse Christ but to live for our ourselves.

So, how do we cope with the silent disapproval of the majority to the hard truths of scripture? Prayerfully and wisely we must love everyone, even those that don’t love us in return. We obey the apostle Paul’s admonition and “pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace with those that call on the Lord from a pure heart.” We enter in and live for Christ ourselves, so that we will have the strength and wisdom to help others as they consider whether to live for Christ themselves.

— Brad Heilhecker



A friend of mine told me the other day that she felt like she was “holding my arms up like Moses and his held up.” Tonight as I was reflecting on this the word “lift” came to my mind.

The first verse I thought of was “lift my eyes to the hills.” Here it is in the Complete Jewish Bible:

Psalm 121:1-4 If I raise my eyes to the hills, from where will my help come? My help comes from Adonai, the maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip — your guardian is not asleep. No, the guardian of Isra’el never slumbers or sleeps.

Exodus 17:12 However, Moshe’s hands grew heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. Aharon and Hur held up his hands, the one on the one side and the other on the other; so that his hands stayed steady until sunset.

I realize that neither of these verses actually have the word “lift” in them, however, the idea is there.

We need to be there for one another. We need friends who will lift our hands up when we are tired. We need to know we have a community who will be there through thick and thin to walk out all kinds of troubles and issues.

Our help comes from Adonai. When we “raise our eyes” we KNOW that He is there for us. We KNOW that he will not let our foot slip.

These are STRONG promises as we walk during these days of uncertainty. These are WORDS from our Creator that we can hold onto and BELIEVE.

I am thankful for these promises too today. I am thankful for friends who “lift my hands.”

Don’t forget those around you. Don’t forget to let them know you care.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rose Horton

Have A Go!

One of my many favorite parts about living in Australia is learning the Aussie lingo. My very Australian husband uses slang all the time that has boggled my American mind for the past 15 years that we’ve been together. “Fair dinkum,” “Sweet as” and “She’ll be right” are just a few of these phrases. One saying in particular, “Have a go, ya mug,” has been floating around in my mind for the past few days, and I really feel like it’s a great encouragement for the Body of Christ right now in this stage of 2020.

“Have a go, ya mug,” or simply put, “Have a go,” can have a few different meanings depending upon context, but in the context that I have been thinking about, the phrase means this: To try to do something you maybe haven’t tried before.

This is where I felt the Lord begin to speak to me about the Body of Christ, here at the end of 2020. I heard Him say, “Have a go…what have you got to lose?”

There are dreams that are yet to become reality which reside in the hearts of many people.  Some of these dreams have been dormant for years, others have been delayed because of the first part of 2020.

There are destinies that were beginning to blossom before March this year which have now just been put on “stand-by.”  There are ideas, prophetic words, even words directly from the Holy Spirit spoken to people’s hearts, and also promises that have been benched.

And yet, I believe the Lord has said that 2020 is actually a great GIFT to those who have eyes to see!

I believe this for my own life as well. The disappointment, sense of loss, delay and frustration that has come from the early part of this year has actually shifted something in me, and in many others around me.  We see things differently, we don’t fear disappointment or delay like we used to, and we have learned to readjust expectations to KINGDOM EXPECTATIONS ONLY.  It’s been a challenging and sometimes painful season, and I definitely do not want to invalidate that for anyone.

Yet the beauty in it all is that I now feel like we, as the Body of Christ, have nothing to lose. So much of our world has changed, shifted, realigned – in both good and not great ways – that we can boldly rise up and just HAVE A GO without the fears and concerns that we would have had in the past season.

If a person is keeping their eyes on Jesus and living by faith in the Kingdom’s power and resources, anything is possible.  I really believe that the Father wants to outdo our wildest dreams in this season as we rely on the power of the Holy Spirit with every step we take toward our God-dreams.

Is there a book that you want to write and publish?  HAVE A GO.

Is there a business that you want to start?  HAVE A GO.

Is there an outreach project burning on your heart?  HAVE A GO.

Is there a creative project that’s been in your mind?  HAVE A GO.

Start that blog.  Have a go at that YouTube channel.  Call that friend. Take that step of faith.  Learn that new skill.  Expand your knowledge in that area.  Sign up for that Bible College for next year.  Try sharing Jesus at your local grocery store.

This is our season, Bride of Christ!


Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you. – Ephesians 3:20, TPT

— Mandy Woodhouse