Archive for January, 2015

23 Sundays

Posted in Uncategorized on January 25, 2015 by jimheinze

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Today it hit me as I was coming home from church. Linda won’t be there when I get home. Because we would usually took 2 cars, she would be home when I arrived (I tend to stay late!).  I know, it’s been 23 Sundays, but for some reason today was harder. In my “flesh” or in the “natural” I don’t know how to make it. I don’t know how to keep going. I really miss her. I don’t mean to sound selfish, and I’m not soliciting sympathy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is hard. We sang a song this morning called Sweetly Broken. I know God allows breaking to bring us closer to the cross. Anyone who has purposed to be a disciple has to allow the breaking. After all, Jesus said, If we want to follow Him we need to deny ourselves and take up our cross. Could He really mean what He says? Or is He playing some cosmic practical joke with our emotions or lives? Listen, it hurts to follow Christ. Anyone that tells you different is short changing you. But He does meet us and as Psalm 40 says takes us from the miry clay and places us on a rock. He does put a new song in our hearts. He does say, blessed it the one who trusts in Him. So I will trust, I will sing, I will continue to put Him first in my life and in the end be changed from glory to glory. May my life continue to reflect Christ in love and compassion. That’s what I receive from Him and that’s what I shall give.
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Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

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Sunday is the hardest

Posted in Uncategorized on January 18, 2015 by jimheinze

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Everyday is hard but it seems that Sunday is the hardest. Linda and I were so intertwined with church, worship, and fellowship that the scripture about one flesh was never more true. I have to get to church early to get ready for the service so we would usually take two cars. After music rehearsal I usually stand out front and greet while others arrive for worship. Linda would pull up and park and we’d walk in together. At 10:30 the worship band would start and within a few minutes I would see her in the front row, (usually with her shoes off) hands raised, eyes closed, head back in total worship. She so loved to worship the Lord and was such an example of someone lost in His presence. After the music I would join her and fill the empty seat beside her. When the service ended she would usually bring me a snack or treat from the fellowship hall as I was always busy talking with and meeting people. She would usually leave for home after about half an hour (or we would join others for lunch). When I  later arrived home she would be here waiting. We may go out for the evening or hit the grocery store for needed items. We would most often sit and talk about what the Lord was doing or how He was moving in the church. Sundays are just so different now.

Don’t worry, be Happy?

Posted in Uncategorized on January 18, 2015 by jimheinze

Dont_Worry_Be_HappySo, how do you now look at James 1:2 which says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” I was asked this question by a wonderful friend and Christian brother the other night, in light of my current situation,  I’ve ministered on that and other verses like it for years as I traveled singing and preaching. It’s interesting that James didn’t say be happy in your trial. Happiness is different than joy. Do we think even Jesus was happy going to the cross? In fact, He prayed if it be possible let this cup pass. But the writer of Hebrews says that “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. To begin with, joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit. The foundation of a believer that walks with God in constant communion. The seed of change (or sanctification) in a Christian’s life. Happy is conditional. Happy is fleeting and depends on circumstances to be maintained. Two different words. Does God want us to be happy? Perhaps but He never promised to make me happy. The word happy is in the New Testament but it appears to be used surrounded with conditions. 2 Corinthians 7:13 We have been greatly encouraged by this. In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was about the way all of you welcomed him and set his mind at ease. 2 Corinthians 7:4 I have the highest confidence in you, and I take great pride in you. You have greatly encouraged me and made me happy despite all our troubles. Luke 15:32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’” He did, however, promised to develop the fruit of joy in my life. I’m I happy about my current circumstances? No I’m not happy. But I do have a joy in my soul. There  are some other verses that I continue to wrestle with. Like the verse in James that says the prayer of faith will heal. (James 5:15)  I know and I’ve been told that Linda is ultimately healed in the presence of the Lord. While I believe that, I still expected to see her healed physically. Just being honest here. She obviously wasn’t and so I’m not happy about that. But! I have a joy deep within that says God is still in control and He still loves me and He still knows the beginning from the end. I will trust Him through this trial and if James is right, and I’m sure he is, patience will be worked in my life through this trial and I will mature in my faith. (James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.) Happiness will come and go throughout the rest of my life but my joy in the Lord will be strengthened and deepened. I will no doubt walk closer with Him which is His ultimate goal for me anyway. As Oswald Chambers says, “Holiness, not happiness, is the chief end of man.” But right now? No, I’m not happy.