Tag Archives: Patience

30 Days of Gratitude Day 20-Am I Enough for You?

“Heather, am I really enough for you?”

This was the question whispered into my heart by the Holy Spirit one recent early morning.

I have to admit, it startled me. Not the question. My answer.

You see, a few months ago I stepped down from a ministry leader position in my church after several years serving on a weekly basis. The ministry I led was fruitful, fit with my spiritual gifts and filled me with passion and purpose. But God revealed to me that it was time for a new season. As I began to pray and obey into this possibility, I began to see what God had in mind. My family needs more of me, as does my growing career. And then there’s the vision; the vision God has stirred in me since I was a little girl. The vision that will realize one of my most cherished prayers; my husband and I in ministry together. It’s time to get serious about building it. More on that later…

But as I sat with Jesus just a few mornings ago and struggled to answer His very direct question, I realized there’s more to the story. It isn’t just about family, career and ministry. It’s about me. Me and God. Nothing is more important to God than each of us in intimate relationship with Him. God wants more of me

I tearfully confessed to a couple of friends at church what the Holy Spirit had asked me and the struggle I had in answering the question. In that simple question, Jesus revealed to me that ministry had become my enough. My identity was getting mixed up in what I DO for Jesus, instead of who I am in Jesus. The fruit of ministry was becoming my personal yardstick, instead of who God says I am. I was beginning to believe God loves me for what I do for Him.

I actually said out loud to my friends, “If I’m not working for God, then what good am I? What value do I hold?”

I know better than that. Yet…

This was quite startling because I preach and teach on identity in Christ. My passion and conviction has always been about intimacy with God. Before I was a believer, I was very performance driven. As I pursued a relationship with Jesus, He really worked on me in those areas. I experienced a lot of victory. This revelation was like living in a house where you know every room only to discover a basement. My friends pointed out that Jesus is calling me to a place I haven’t yet been. A place of deeper healing and calling. A place of deeper intimacy and identity. 

It’s amazing how sly the enemy is. These performance traps aren’t obvious. They are subtly set and disguised as good things. Many times the enemy will use good things to distract us from the best thing; intimacy with our heavenly Father. If we’re not careful, what starts out as loving and serving God can become working FOR God. He doesn’t need us to work for Him. He invites us to work WITH Him. 

I’ve come to believe I’m in a time of rest and preparation. The preparation is in the rest. The preparation is in the letting go and going deeper, getting uncomfortable where all I have to hold onto is my Savior who leads me. He’s inviting me into a deeper place of more abundant fruit. But first I must let go of the things that bring me validation and approval. The things of man.

He must be my ENOUGH.

If He’s calling you out of something and it doesn’t make sense, trust Him. Let your heart surrender. Get uncomfortable, and trust Him.

I’m so grateful for the counsel of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God that teaches us.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:1-5

What are you grateful for today?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 Days of Gratitude-Day 18-PERSEVERANCE

gratitude-journalPerseverance is steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

Read that again.

Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success…

How many times have you given up because success didn’t come quickly, or things got too hard?  Too many times, right? I know, me too.

And here you are again at the dawning of a new year, doubting it will be different than any other year, but yearning for it to be a year of resolutions kept.

Wait a minute!

Is it possible that you are setting the wrong goals? What if your goal was to not give upTO PERSEVERE. 

What if that became your commitment, that no matter how long it took, or hard it got, you would persevere. 

In fact, what if we embraced each difficulty, each setback, each obstacle as a way to attain the goal of perseverance? Talk about a shift in mindset!

Instead of giving up, we would give thanks for the defeat that aimed to derail our dreams and vision. We would celebrate the opportunity to exercise perseverance!

Maya Angelou wrote, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

I love this quote because it points us to the very truth in the Bible when James wrote,

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This New Testament book was written to encourage persecuted Christians to endure and live bold Christian lives; lives that pursue perseverance, reflect hope, and demonstrate transformation. We can’t do that without pushing through trials and hardships, failures and setbacks. Jesus said in this world we would have trouble, but to take heart because he has overcome the world!

Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Wow! It’s through perseverance that we are made complete in our faith and mature in our Christian walk. Not tossed about like a wave on the ocean, but fastened and secured to our Savior. We are made stronger in our weakness through the power of God in us, as long as we do not give up! 

He has given each one of us a purpose and made each of us with a vision. You may not what it is yet, but He is preparing and equipping you for His purpose right now. In order to live out that purpose, we must learn the discipline of perseverance. Chances are very good that God’s purpose for your life is going to be delivered through your greatest trials. If we give up every time it gets hard, we miss out on our destiny. 

We must pursue perseverance! 

Even in my writing, I must pursue perseverance. In November, I felt God leading me to focus on gratitude. I decided I would write every day for thirty days about what I’m grateful for. If you have been following my blog, you know that November turned into Advent and Christmas, and I’m still writing my thirty days of gratitude! But I will not give up, because success may be delayed, but my hope is not deferred! My hope is in Jesus, and through Him I can do all things!

Today I’m grateful for the opportunity to persevere!

What are you grateful for?

What vision is God calling you to for 2016? 

Will you make the commitment to persevere?

I’d love to hear from you!

 

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.

Great Expectations

Heather Murdock's blog    In my last post I wrote about the challenge of balancing faith, family and  career. It’s not easy.  I recently re-entered the workforce full time, and have struggled with keeping my peace in the midst of this juggling act. I have found myself bringing  my work home with me, at least in my mind.  As a woman, it’s easy to multitask, and that can be a benefit, but it can also be a huge pitfall.  I find myself multitasking when I should be present in the moment God has given me.

Before I was a believer, I was a performer.  I performed in my job, in my community, and in my home.  Not only did I perform, but I expected my family to do the same thing. I expected them to live up to my expectations.  In my job I led a team and was responsible for their accomplishments. It was very hard for me to turn  that drive off when I got home.  At the end of a long day, I was mentally exhausted, and would walk in the door and notice all the things that didn’t live up to my expectations.

At the heart of my performance was the consuming, and well hidden, need for love and approval.  When I turned my life over to God a few years ago, that need was fulfilled.  As His love and grace poured into my soul, I was filled with a peace and joy I had never known.  The performer in me gave way to a new wholeness based in my identity in Jesus.  Sure, I still sometimes struggle with this tendency, but that keeps me seeking a deeper relationship with Him.

Here I am back at work, once again leading a team. Once again meeting expectations.  Once again noticing all the unmet expectations…

But wait, this time it’s different. I’m not alone and God always provides a way out.  He is right by my side, showering me with His grace.  The same grace He gives me, He encourages me to give to myself and others.  He is teaching me that expectations lead to disappointment.  Grace is a beautiful thing.

Every night on the way home from work, I pray that He remove the remnants of the day from my thoughts.  I ask Him to fill me with His love, patience, and contentment so that I can be completely present in the moments to come with my family. I ask Him to empower me to find joy, instead of fault.  We are making great progress, but who’s counting?

The performance is over, the curtain has been called, and the audience has gone home.  There He is waiting for me; His arms outstretched to receive me, not because of how I performed, but because of who He is.  Now it’s just me and Him as He leads me one day at a time.

He’s there for you too, waiting to receive you with open arms.  Go, He’s calling you by name…

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Ephesians 3:16-19

It’s Showtime!

Our little mountain community is blessed with many wonderful people and amenities.  We are a melting pot of artists, philanthropists, vintners, church-goers, hard workers, old timers and many more. One of things that always strikes me is our innate sense of service.  When one of us is down, our neighbor gives a helping hand.  We don’t just talk about it, we do it.  And we do it with creativity, dedication, and heart.

One of the ways we spread the word here is through our local television station.  Yes, we have a TV station, our very own TSPN.  The station televises many local programs, charities, and events.  And of course they advertise.

I love their format.  They enlist local volunteers to host their programs.  I appeared on one of their shows for the first time about three years ago to promote a show for our local theater company.  I had so much fun during the interview that the owner asked if I would donate my time to hosting a show or two.  That turned into a twice a month gig.

I had a ball interviewing local people making a difference.  I discovered that I LOVE to interview people!  I love to learn about people and their passions, and I love to make them feel special.  I love giving a voice to the people who are going above and beyond.  And I love the friendships I have made.

Unfortunately, life has become busier and I have had to decrease my volunteer time there to once in a blue moon…

Last summer, one of the owners shared with me that she had a vision for a spiritual show and wondered if I would be interested in hosting it.

You might think that I jumped at the chance. If you read my post, Humble Pie, you know that I have been learning to walk behind the Lord, instead of ahead of Him, and that He has been opening some surprising doors.  It’s always been very easy for me to say yes to everything. I must admit, the thought of having my own TV show didn’t sound too bad either.

However, I wanted to make sure this was a God thing, not a Heather thing.

Does that make sense?  I knew that if it was of God that He would let me know.

So I waited. Psalm 130:5

A year passed.

Periodically over that year, she would ask me again if I would do the show, and I would side step the question.  I didn’t tell anyone about it, not even my husband.

I prayed and waited.

About two months ago, she asked me again, this time with more urgency.

This time it felt right.  I knew I was behind God and that He was holding the door open for me.

I told her I had to talk to my husband first.  Normally my husband is the voice of caution, which is the perfect match to my full speed ahead temperament.  And to my surprise he was excited about it.  “Go for it,” he said enthusiastically, “and see where God takes it.”

I had one requirement, though.  If I was going to do a show like this, it would have to be a Christian show.  That’s who I am.

I am so excited to see where God will take this ministry opportunity!  The vision He has given me is to showcase how He is working in people’s lives.

A real show with real people with real stories.

Stories of recovery.

Stories of hope.

Stories of triumph.

Stories of victory.

God’s stories.

A place for the weary to rest. Isaiah 40:31

A lamp for the traveler. Psalm 119:105

This is a cable show, so not everyone will get a chance to watch it.  However, there is a website, and I do plan to post footage right here on my blog…

Today is the first show… Love, Hope and Faith with Heather Murdock!

So stay tuned, because it’s showtime!

And I just might interview you next! :)

Humble Pie

God has opened some doors lately that have brought me to my knees.

One of the toughest lessons I have learned in the past couple of years is to wait on Him.  I have never been a patient person!  I used to get irritated that popcorn took too long in the microwave! Yes, I’m a recovering control freak.  As I have shared in other posts, I have been through therapy, but dropped out because it took too long!  Always the one with a plan, I would get quietly resentful when others, especially my family, didn’t immediately hop on board

And dreams?  I have always been a dreamer!  As a child, I used to slip into my day dreams as a way of escape.  Later, my dreams became visions of what was possible for my life.  Eventually, my dreams took me all the way to Hollywood, New York and Paris, but that’s another post…

So, where do you think God started?  That’s right; ask for patience and He will give you opportunities to BE patient, to wait on Him knowing that our strength and patience will rise as we do. Isaiah 40:29-31

Ask Him to show you His plan for your life and He responds, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

He has been teaching me to wait and walk behind Him, not in front of Him like some wild race horse.  And guess what!  Some surprising doors have opened!

I started this blog in the beginning of June.  My very first post was called Rebirth, and it was my testimonial sharing how Jesus took me from the darkness of perfection driven depression into the light of His forgiveness and grace. The day I posted it, I received two invitations to speak to women’s groups, one locally and one in Sacramento. I couldn’t believe it!

Me, be the speaker??

Now, I am not a stranger to public speaking.  In fact, I used to speak for a living as I was a corporate trainer.  But that was  the old Heather who did everything in her own strength and relied on others for approval, recognition, and love.

I have been made new by my Savior, Jesus Christ.  As this new creation, the thought of speaking on behalf of Him makes me feel like a brand new baby colt, stumbling around, trying to walk!  As I read the requests to speak, I literally cried!  I was swept up in a river of humility and…shame.

Shame?

I felt so undeserving to speak to other women. I mean who am I?  I am no expert, how can I do this?  I have made so many mistakes!  I did not tell anyone about the invitations for almost a month!

Shadows of the old Heather crept across the scene, seeking approval.  What would others think?  Would they disapprove?  Would they judge?

So I prayed…. and God lead me to some of the Christian mentors he has blessed me with.

One friend, a pastor, reminded me of the story of Moses and how he asked God the very same question, “Who am I?”  God basically told him it’s not about you, it’s about Me. You are the vehicle I am using for my purpose. God told Moses not to worry that He would be with Him.  He even told Moses he would speak for him!  Exodus 3 and 4

One friend told me, “Good!  You SHOULD  feel that way.  That’s the kind of person God wants to use and WILL use.  Someone who is humble and feels ill-equipped to represent Him.”

And still another friend told me, “Don’t doubt God’s plan.  He has opened these doors and is asking you to walk through them.  Who are you to question His plan?”

Question his plan?

I never thought of it that way!

“When we share our testimonies of what He has done in our lives, it’s like worshiping Him.  Don’t hide His light!  Let it shine bright for all the world to see His glory, and stop worrying about what anyone else will think about it!”  Are you more concerned with what others think, or with what He thinks?  Luke 8:16

Wow!

I thought of another story, the story of David.  Remember King David?  He didn’t start out as a king, no, far from it.  In fact, David’s family called David the haqqaton, which basically means the runt with no potential.  Yet, God selected him to be the King!  God doesn’t see as man sees.  Man looks at the outside, God looks at the heart.  1 Samuel 16:7

Just like Max Lucado says in “Facing Your Giants,” We’re all equally broke and blessed.”  God uses all of it!

There’s another unexpected and amazing door God has opened, but I think I will save it for the next post…

Remember, what God calls us to do, He gives us the power to do!Heather Murdock's blog