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My BFF

He doesn’t have to actually do anything; just knowing He’s there makes me feel special.  He’s the one I run to when I’m weak.  He’s the one I run to with my good news. He’s the one I vent to when I’m overwhelmed and rattled.  I never feel like I’m taking too much of His time.  He’s always there, with arms outstretched.

Oh, and He gives the BEST advice!  Sometimes it’s hard to take, but I know He always has my best interest at heart.  He’s really a big picture thinker and knows exactly how to put things into perspective.  His insights are uncanny!

Patience is one of His strengths.  I’m sure He must shake his head at me sometimes, though.  There He is with His amazing wisdom, and there I am digging my heels in.  It must be quite a sight to behold!  But do you know what I love?  I can argue with Him and He doesn’t hold it against me.  In fact, I think He enjoys it.  At least then we are heart to heart. I feel like He knows me better than I know myself.  He sees me differently than anyone else ever has. He makes me want to make Him proud.

One of the things I really respect about Him is that He is so honest.  He expects complete honesty from me, too.  It’s like He can see right through me.   There have been times when I haven’t been honest with Him.  He just stares at me and waits for me to tell the truth.  I can feel His loving, firm presence nudging me, encouraging me, forgiving me.

He wants more for me than I could ever imagine for myself!  He actually has a plan to help me get there!  If only I would follow His lead more often!  I do trust Him completely.  I guess I just like my own way too.  The thing is, when we’re in sync, we are unstoppable!  When I let Him take the wheel, we go places that I never even dreamed!  When I humble myself to His plan, His wisdom, His character He shows me a freedom I’ve never known. 

One of the greatest things about my best friend is that loving Him with my whole heart empowers me to love others the way He does.  I can’t really explain it, but He makes me better at love.  His goodness fills me up and overflows to those around me.  I get to see people the way He does.  He sees what’s true. I don’t have to pretend with Him.  He knows I’m not perfect, but loves me anyway.

I know I can never be just like Him; He’s one of a kind, that’s for sure!  I’d like you to meet Him.  His name is God.  He wants to be  your best friend too!

Click here to watch my Christian talk show, Love, Hope and Faith as I share my testimony and talk about how intimacy with God changed my life.

Click here to watch Love, Hope and Faith as we discuss the restoration of the marriage and family through God.

Click here to watch Love, Hope and Faith as we talk about the grief process and how Jesus can use our grief to help others.

I’m Not Qualified!

Recently God gave me a beautiful opportunity to work for His Kingdom.  I was asked by a women’s ministry in a nearby town to be the guest speaker at a  weekend retreat in Lake Tahoe. I have written about my struggle to feel worthy when God gives me an opportunity, but I’m still here working on absorbing God’s grace.  I have to admit I feel so unqualifiedI mean I’ve only been a Christian for a few years!

Will I disappoint them?  Do they think I’m more accomplished than I am? Why me?

Heather Murdock's blogWhen I first became a believer I was almost literally on fire!  God performed so many amazing wonders in my heart.  The transformation was remarkable!  He cleansed the old hurts and replaced them with His redeeming love.  Nothing in my life had changed, but I had changed.  I wanted to shout from the rooftops, and practically did!  I just knew that I would spend the rest of my life telling people about Him.  I felt that nothing was impossible in Christ, which is confirmed as a promise in the Bible.  I knew the changes inside me had very little to do with me and everything to do with Him.

Imagine my surprise when a few people told me that I should slow down and start learning more before bounding ahead.  I needed to mature a bit.  I was taken aback, but not defeated because I knew that God inside me wasn’t!  I knew that God had plans to use me. However, as time passed by, I did start to feel more more self conscience about my passion.  This was an easy burden for me to pick up since worrying about the opinions of others had always been an issue.  I began to downplay the things God was doing in my life. I worried that people might think…well I wasn’t sure what they would think but I worried about it.

God has been showing me lately that He doesn’t just want to use my hurts to reach others, but He wants to use my strengths. He knit each one of us together in our mother’s womb with a plan and a purpose.  He knew what He was doing; He was intentional.  It’s time to stop making it about me.  I’m not qualified, but He is!

Many people would say I’m still on fire.  But I pray that my life is SO filled with the Holy Spirit that people look at my life and say “Wow, that’s God!” That’s what Francis Chan says in his book “Forgotten God.”  I pray that people see Jesus through me, supernaturally, and know it has nothing to do with me. Amen!

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” Acts 4:13

Click here to catch the latest episode of my show Love, Hope and Faith.  My guest, Mondo Mariscal and I discuss spiritual gifts.  Plus Mondo performs some original music…so beautiful!

Attitude of Gratitude

Heather Murdock's blogI am filled with gratitude this Christmas season.  I am also reminded that gratitude should live in my every thought, not just in a season.

On Thanksgiving day I put out a basket of blank index cards and asked family members to write something they were thankful for on each one.  I encouraged them to use as many cards as they wanted.  We used almost the entire box! After dinner, we pulled each one out and read them aloud.  It was amazing to hear all of the things we’re thankful for; everything from our cat’s healing booty (he got in a cat fight) to our love of each other.  I think my husband actually wrote the most cards, and my favorite was the one that read, “I’m grateful for what I have, instead of worried about what I don’t have.”

We spend so much time comparing ourselves to others and “keeping up with the Joneses.”  We falsely think that if we had that new car, new shoes, or new job that we would be happy.  The funny thing is, I’ve had those things, and still wasn’t happy.  I was constantly looking over the horizon for the next thing to fill the void.  The one consistency in each accomplishment was me.  I was still there in each job, each car, and each pair of shoes. I was broken on the inside, so what made me think an item or object, or person for that matter, would make me happy?

My relationship with Jesus is what brought me true, deep joy.  Each day I pray for more closeness with Him.  He is showing me that one path to that closeness is gratitude.  A thankful attitude opens windows of  heaven and enables me to see into His heart.  When I’m grateful, I feel really connected to Him, and that fills me further with joy and peace.

Gratitude is not something you can fake.  If you don’t feel gratitude, I encourage you to ask Him to fill your heart with thanksgiving.  I encourage you to pray for new eyes that will see all the blessings He has poured into your life.  Think of all the wondrous blessings, even small ones, He provided just for you.  Make a list of all those things and read it often; even share it with a family member or friend. This practice will open up your awareness of Him and His provision for your life.

One of the best gifts we can give our children is to teach them this truth. This year give them the gift you can’t put under the tree, but that keeps on giving.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”  Colossians 3:15-16

Check out my show Love, Hope and Faith this week as I interview fitness guru, Alyshia Davis Drake.  She shares how her faith in her Savior and her attitude of thankfulness empowered her to lose over 130 pounds!  Click here.

The Edge of His Robe

Heather Murdock's blogI’m beginning to see how shame has profoundly shaped my life by insinuating itself into the very core of my being, clouding my perceptions and driving my decisions.

I have written quite a bit about painful childhood experiences; almost like I’m trying to vomit them.

As I write that last sentence, I am struck by my word choice “vomit.” If you read my other posts like Rebirth and A Heart for the Underdog, you will see that I struggled with bulimia for almost twenty years.

I became a Christian three years ago, and just like the woman who touched the edge of Jesus’ robe in Luke 8:43-48, I was immediately healed.  The moment I recognized His love and accepted Him as my Savior, my decaying spirit came to life. I felt it happen.  But it wasn’t until a few months later that I realized I had not had one thought or craving of my eating disorder.

Over the years, I had gone through stages where I was able to resist the urge to indulge in the act of my disorder, but it was never far from my mind.  It was always there calling out to me like a long lost friend; pretending to be my solace. I jealously protected it from exposure.  I desperately wanted help, but revealing its presence in my life would mean it could be taken away.  To me, it was a way out, a way to control, and a way to purge my shame. I came close to telling my husband, and when I finally did, it came out like it was a problem I used to have. He felt sorrow and compassion for what his wife “used to go through.”  I mourned with him, as the secret raged on.  My shame grew, and the chains tightened.

It’s interesting to me how something as shameful as an eating disorder could represent a way to relieve my shame.  How can that be?

God is starting to take me even deeper in my understanding of myself and my past.  I realize the shame came from the sin being lived out in my family; the sin of abuse and addiction. Sin begets sin, and shame begets shame.  As my desire to hide what was happening grew to giant proportions, so did the fear and anxiety of anyone finding out.

As a child, I internalized all of this.  However, as I grew into adolescence, I learned the art of cultivation.  In other words, I designed an external reality to hide the internal one.  I hid behind my facade, which provided a fortress for the shame.

I say my healing was instantaneous, and in so many ways it was.  I do still struggle with some of the remnants of my past, though.  God hasn’t delivered me from everything overnight.  I am grateful He hasn’t.  The struggle is where the relationship with Him is built.  My issues and challenges keep me seeking Him.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

To this day, I am COMPLETELY free of my eating disorder.  I know there are many out there with similar stories of great transformation.  I also know there are many who are still in the darkness of their shame.  I encourage you to reach out to our Lord and ask Him into your heart.  Ask Him to be with you in those darkest places and to lead you into the light.  I don’t know what miracles He will work in your life, but I do know He is faithful and He is good and He loves you more than you can ever imagine.

3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— 
to bestow on them a crown of beauty 
   instead of ashes, 
the oil of joy 
   instead of mourning, 
and a garment of praise 
   instead of a spirit of despair. 
They will be called oaks of righteousness, 
   a planting of the LORD 
   for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:3     

To watch the latest Love, Hope and Faith click here.  I was blessed by my interview of Pastor Cameron English, as he shared about his painful experiences of childhood abuse, substance abuse, jail and the loss of a child.  It’s amazing what God has done in his life and how God has used it to give Cameron a ministry for the hurting.

The Mountaintop

Heather Murdock's blogWhat you are going through right now, is crucial for your calling. Whatever pain you are experiencing has not been caused by God, but has been allowed by God to shape you into the masterpiece He created you to be.

You’ve been to the mountaintop.  That’s where God gave you a vision for your life.  There, you were one with God.  There, you were claimed by God.

There, you were sure of God…

Now, you are down in the valley.  You feel alone.  You feel disconnected.

You aren’t sure of anything…

On the mountaintop, wrapped in the warmth of communion with God, it’s easy to be inspired.  You hungrily devour your time spent in such close companionship with Him.  You feel special.  You feel adored.  You  are filled with purpose and commitment.  It’s like being on your honeymoon.  You can’t get enough.

You aren’t meant to stay on the mountain.  In the valley is where life is lived. God gave you his vision so that you may carry it like a lighted torch to light the path for those who have never been to the mountain.

It may be painful in the valley, but that is where your vision is refined and defined.

Let God in right where you are.  He is waiting for you.  Your fear is keeping you from your calling.  Relax into His embrace, He won’t let you fall.  You were made for a purpose.  God is in control of all things.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”  1 Peter 5:6-7                                 

Remember, only God bring beauty from ashes. Isaiah 61: 1-3    

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, 
   because the LORD has anointed me 
   to proclaim good news to the poor. 
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, 
   to proclaim freedom for the captives 
   and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor 
   and the day of vengeance of our God, 
to comfort all who mourn, 
 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— 
to bestow on them a crown of beauty 
   instead of ashes, 
the oil of joy 
   instead of mourning, 
and a garment of praise 
   instead of a spirit of despair. 
They will be called oaks of righteousness, 
   a planting of the LORD 
   for the display of his splendor.”

Click here to watch this week’s Love, Hope and Faith.  I interviewed a pastor from India who was raised as an Untouchable, the lowest cast in India.  Now he is a Pastor and is leading people to Christ in in the very same place he was raised, standing up against persecution and declaring his Savior!  Powerful story that will touch your heart and inspire your faith!

A Heart for the Underdog

I would not be who I am today if it weren’t for my past. I write and speak quite a bit about my past, leaving my heart on the floor as I do.  I have found that holding back stunts my growth.

As a child, I was ashamed of where I came from.  My parents were hippies and we lived accordingly.  I don’t have too many memories of living in an actual house, but I do recall living in a 20 x 20 shed, a camper, a converted school bus and a teepee.  Bear in mind, this lifestyle was a choice.  I feel compelled to point out they never asked my preference!

I mean who could resist no running water, no telephone, and no indoor plumbing. That last one makes me laugh.  I mean I’m a girl who really likes my indoor plumbing!

Of course I have some wonderful memories of my childhood, but I have many more that are etched with the knife of addiction, domestic violence, family secrets, guilt and shame.

Elementary school was no picnic either.  Imagine a gawky, plain, and terribly shy young girl with thick glasses and a hand me down wardrobe.  A perfect target for the bully.  I just wanted someone to like me, to accept me, to love me.

If only I were pretty, I thought…

The summer before high school, I blossomed.  I shed the awkward skin of my adolescence, and got noticed.   The attention I was so desperate for came in unexpected waves.  I clung to my appearance, believing all the while that my looks were my only ticket to happiness and joy.

I learned the art of pretending. I pretended to be happy.  I pretended to be normal.  I pretended to be me.

This took me far; all the way to Hollywood.  All the way to an eating disorder.  All the way to sin.

I used to live behind the mask of perfection.  My bondage to my past was choking me.  I felt like I was rotting from the inside.

About three years ago, I found my freedom in Jesus Christ.  He radically threw my chains off and set me free!

Where there once was dark, I see light flooding in.  My memories are turning into friends, instead of foes. I use the lamp of the Lord to guide my path, and am encouraged by one of my favorite scriptures.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”  Psalm 119:105 

I’ve always had a heart for the underdog,  I think I can relate to them.

God doesn’t waste a hurt, and I am beginning to see how He is using my past to reach out to others who are lost.  He has given me a heart to serve those that most people cast aside.  It could be the homeless woman, the wayward teen, the woman lost in addiction, the hungry child, or the man who thinks he is too far gone for God.

Isn’t this what all Christians are called to do?  Aren’t we all supposed to feed his sheep?  It’s easy to think to yourself, “Oh, look what a good Christian I am.  I am helping the needy.”  I think that’s dangerously close to pride.  The first time I felt the nudge of that emotion, God reminded me that we are all broken before Him, and only through Him are we made whole.

Who am I to judge another’s brokenness?

From one broken person to another, let’s do this together.  Let’s feed His sheep!

Watch the newest episode of Love, Hope and Faith to hear an incredible story from homeless to hopeFULL!  Click here!

Heather Murdock's blog