Friday, May 29, 2009


i love that there are 4 gospels written by 4 different men. they each saw an angle on the life and teachings of Jesus and each chose from so many stories and events exactly what they felt moved by the Holy Spirit to emphasize.

i think it is so interesting in my recent reading of the gospel according to luke that the first story he chose to write on, the only gospel writer who included a story giving us a glimpse of Jesus as a child, was one on His humility.

in luke 2 we read about one of the many times when Jesus and his family went to Jerusalem for the feast of passover. luke mentions that Jesus was 12 years old, which i think is very significant to his story. we know that Jesus was strong; He was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him. (luke 2:40) He already was no ordinary child. as much as Jesus was fully man, He was at the same time fully God.

in the hustle and bustle of a busy celebration in the capitol city of jerusalem, it is not hard for me as a parent of 3 young boys to imagine mary and joseph losing track of young Jesus. in my perspective, they probably assumed He was with another family member, with His brothers, or some of His friends. although my oldest child right now is only 5, i do not imagine them being overly concerned that Jesus would wander off from the group at the age of 12. in fact, luke records that they actually traveled home with their group who came up from nazareth for an entire day before they realized He was missing.

when they got back to jerusalem, probably an entire day of traveling back (making it 2 days without their son at that point), it took them another 3 whole days to track Him down. the panic that would set into any mom's heart at that point would be tremendous. i mean, even though they knew Jesus was the messiah that was promised to come, we have to remember that His parents were just like us with the emotions, fears, and struggles as parents.

in luke 2:46 the story continues:
after three days they found Him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. everyone who heard Him was amazed at His understanding and His answers. When His parents saw Him, they were astonished. His mother said to Him, "son, why have you treated us like this? your father and i have been anxiously searching for you."
"why were you searching for me?" He asked. "didn't you know i had to be in my Father's house?"

it is amazing to me to see that at the young age of 12, before most boys hit puberty, Jesus was filled with so much strength, wisdom, and grace of God that He was ready for public ministry. He was fully God, and yet fully man; so young, and yet so ready. so why do we not read another story of Jesus teaching, ministering, fulfilling His calling in His first coming until He is thirty years old?
but they did not understand what He was saying to them. luke 2:50

mary and joseph, the two parents God the Father entrusted the care of Jesus to did not recognize that He was ready. of all the people in the world who seem to should have seen Jesus for who He was and support what He was going to do as the Messiah that had been promised for ages, it would seem that those closest to Him, his very family, would recognize His wisdom, His annointing, His time. but they did not. they did not understand why He would be in the temple courts and felt that He has disrepected them as His parents. they were hurt by what He had done.

so what did Jesus do? this is the part that blows my mind.
then He went down to nazareth with them and was obedient to them. but his mother treasured all these things in her heart. luke 2:51
of all people, Jesus had the right to do what He was called to do when He was fully able. Jesus, the Son of God, the Messiah, had every right to demand His rights and recognition of man. but He did not demand it. He did not explain Himself to save His reputation. He did exactly what was demanded of Him and His humility was so powerful that it is the only other time it is written of His mother mary that she treasured these things in her heart. He moved the hearts of those who did not give Him recognition, respect, or value His abilities and giftings by choosing to humble Himself and be obedient when He had done no wrong.

Jesus chose to wait another 18 years to go into public ministry because He valued humility and honoring those who God had chosen for Him as His earthly authority. i am so moved by His humility because He didn't have to do it. He did not have to go back to nazareth, where it is recorded people never did recognize Him as any more than the carpenter's son. He chose a life of hiddenness, humility, and servanthood, choosing to give honor instead of demanding honor and He didn't have to do it. He did not retreat home in weakness and shame. no. humility is not weakness, it is strength restrained by choice.

the amazing thing to me is that He did it as so much more than to be an example to me of how to live my life, though i do believe that is true. He chose humility because that is who He is. He is humble. in philippians 2, the apostle paul wrote:
although He existed in the form of God, He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, {and} being made in the likeness of men. being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. for this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name...
how often in our american culture do we hear it encouraged from anywhere that we should put ourselves on the backseat and allow our strengths and what we have to offer be overlooked? how often are we instead encouraged to show off all that we excel in and to grasp for our place in the spotlight? yet, Jesus is humble in everything He is, and because of His humility God exalted Him. our world does not esteem humility. i know that i personally struggle with esteeming the path of humility in my own life. so many other focuses for my life seem so much more attractive.

luke thought the humility of Jesus so important that it was the very first thing he highlighted about Him. God finds the humility of Jesus so important that He gives Him the highest seat for all eternity and gives Him the name above all names. every knee will bow before Him one day and recognize with the words of our own mouths that this humble man who we would be tempted to despise as weak is the strongest man that exists.

and Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. luke 2:52

as much as i may never understand how Jesus would need to grow as the Godman, He grew as a direct result of His humility. His humility gained Him favor with God and with men. as we gaze on the humility of Jesus, may we grow in humility in our own lives. teach us to esteem humility as you esteem humility Father, that we would grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

read more on the journey of humility in a vision for fullness of joy


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

and every eye will see

behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. so it is to be. amen. revelation 1:7

so, funny kid story: a couple years back bill had been talking to asher about when Jesus is coming back. he had told him some of the signs leading up to His return, and asher, being my deep thinking child, had pondered these things in his heart. one morning he looked out the window, while sitting on the couch with bill, and said, "well, i guess Jesus isn't coming back today." when bill asked him how he knew that today wasn't the day, asher responded, "there are no clouds." oh, the gems of revelation out of the mouth of a three year old!

as cute as this story is, it is also one of great hope and encouragement to me. children have such simple faith and sometimes i get into a thinking that you have to be super educated or deep to understand what the bible says, especially about the second coming of Christ. yet, a great bible teacher from great britain named david pawson reminds us that the bible and even the book of revelation was written for common people to understand. basically, what it says is to be taken literally unless it says it is to be interpreted as a symbol. sure there is cultural context to be taken into account at times that will enhance the understanding of a passage or entire book, but how amazingly comforting to me to know that God intended for me to understand His word.

i am also so encouraged this morning as i meditate on this verse because i realize once again that i will not miss Him. i went through a period of time when i was younger, probably partially due to the movie a thief in the night back in the seventies, where i was quite fearful that somehow i would miss the second coming of Jesus and be "left behind." however, John the writer of the book of revelation encourages His readers at the beginning of his book that every eye will see Him. that includes me! thank you Lord for this assurance and great hope that we have of your return! it will not be symbolic, it will not be for a just few, but Jesus is coming back for real. we will know the day of His coming if we watch for the signs even He Himself told us to be on watch for.

be encouraged! our deliverer is coming, He will rule and reign on the earth, and His kingdom will know no end.


Friday, May 8, 2009

living water

they drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; and You give them to drink of the river of Your delights. for with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light. psalm 36:8-9

blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand
in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. but his delight is in
the law of the Lord, and on His law He meditates day and night. he is like
a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose
leaf does not wither. whatever he does prospers. not so are the
wicked! they are like chaff that the wind blows away. therefore the
wicked will not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the assembly of the
righteous. for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way
of the wicked will perish.
psalm 1

i desire You Lord. i thirst for you like the deer thirsts for the fresh water. may my roots go deep, like a tree planted by the waters - Your living waters of life where i will never thirst again for anything but You. You satisfy me. You complete me. You are my delight and my source of true life. may i be forever ruined for any counterfeit of You.

may my roots go down deep that i would not be moved by the seasons of life. You said that storms will come and the winds will blow, but give me deep roots that i would not be moved. may i be anchored in the fountain of all life.

Jesus you said,
if you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you
would have asked Him and He would have given you living water... everyone who drinks this water I give him will never thirst. indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
john 4:10, 13-14

and your promises are true! i drink again today from your rivers of delight. i love You Lord. may we encounter You.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

a new chapter begins

hebrews 11:8 by faith abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going.

well, in a few short minutes i start a new chapter to my life. i have felt for a while now that turning 30 was going to be very significant in my life, and the Lord has used little things to confirm this to me.

one such confirmation was i finished writing in the very last couple pages of my journal that i have used (not as well as i should have) for the past 7 years tonight! i will start a new journal in a new year... a significant new year.

another is the timing of direction. i have had doors close at exactly the right time. strangely close. i would dare to say supernaturally close. a business that i have run for 5 years ended exactly at the 5 year mark, to the very day and completely out of my control. right before i turn 30... just days in fact. what have i felt the Lord speaking to me about these closed doors while i have sought Him for direction? i have felt strongly like He is so involved in it all... like He is really trying to get my attention. it is almost like i was just walking straight down my path and He suddenly made going straight no longer an option and He said, "now turn left." since i no longer have the option of straight... i sure am paying attention to what may be lying there to my left.

very specific and significant dreams have come to me the past couple weeks. a gal emailed me out of the blue, who has never emailed me before, to tell me she was praying for me and to encourage me in the very things i had spoke to no one about, when i had not even had a real conversation with her for around 7 years. someone tells me a song they had been singing they felt had to do with what God was doing with me... the words are right on in the exact place i feel i am in. many many little things like these just confirming His hand in my life.

a strange one? as i looked out of my hotel room tonight, my husband took me out of town as a surprise to celebrate, i saw one lone firework in the sky of ashland. totally out of the blue. it burst exactly when i happened to be looking and no more followed. bill did not see it, but only me. i am not saying that whoever set off that firework did it for me, but God sure used it to once again confirm: something new is beginning.

so... as i was once encouraged by a missionary friend of mine to always have closure with a country i leave and to leave on good terms because i can never know if i will ever come back to it, i want to do the same with this chapter of my life that ends because i have a feeling that as i start the new one it will be so different. goodbye chapter, season in life, good good place that the Lord has taught me so much about Himself, life, love, and the importance of the journey. i have had tears, laughter, life, and loss along the way. i will never forget how you have impacted who i am as a person and will be forever changed by just your presence and impacted on the rest of my life. parts have been very hard, but i would not trade a moment for all that i have gained in the nearness of the love of God. i am ready to now close the door. i am now opening another one - a different part of the journey. i am sure it will have its struggles and its joys and i am excited and anxiously anticipating what God has for me just beyond that threshold.

may it one day be said of me what i love in this poem called living eulogy:
she danced. she sang. she
took. she gave. she served.
she loved.
she risked. she
she dissented. she grew.
she enlivened. she saw.
she sweated. she changed. she
learned. she laughed.
she shed her skin, she
bled on the pages of her days,
she walked through walls, she
lived with intention.
m.a.r. heshey
here is to turning 30.


Monday, May 4, 2009

fasting part 1

fasting part 1

first of all, i am by no means the expert on fasting. i actually have a favorite book about fasting that i have loaned out more times than i can count... i may actually have to buy a second copy so that i have one around here to refer to when i am needing it. the one book i have read that makes the lifestyle of fasting very simple is the rewards of fasting by mike bickle and dana candler. for just under $10, you can have a great resource to refer to and, i promise, pass on if you are like me and are wanting to start this journey but get overwhelmed by all the connotations the word fasting brings with it.

that disclaimer aside, i would like to take a couple blog entries to talk a bit about fasting. though i do not have the experience i would like to have much authority on the subject, i would like to do what i have promised to on this blog and share a bit about my journey.

i do not remember how old i was when i went on my first fast, but i know that i was in my early teens. i remember seeing a flyer at church, back in the "old bethel" for those of you who can even remember that far back, and it was a corporate fast someone in the christian world was calling. i talked to my mom about it and decided to give it a try. no, i did not do a 40 day water fast. i can't even remember at this point what i decided to fast or how long i lasted, it was probably very very simple and short, but i know that was when the seed was planted.

since then, i have done different corporate fasts, such as the 1st 40 days of 2000, in which while i was on a juice fast (a senior in college, mind you, with a very full load - it is possible to do as a student, i promise!) when i was healed of very uncomfortable lactose intolerance while fasting. i was privileged to participate some of these amazing corporate fasts at a young age, many called by lou engle, who i personally consider one of my spiritual fathers after going to harvest rock church in pasadena, ca, where he was on staff with che ahn while i was in college at azusa pacific university. i also would fast when contending for a breakthrough in some area of my life or in prayer for breakthrough in others lives such as healing. i had such a habit of fasting before making big decisions, that i have often shared with people when telling bill and my "story" that i fasted 3 days before telling him that i had feelings for him.

i do not say all that so you will think i am an expert faster. not at all! many times in college i was tired, stressed from all the balancing of classes, homework, jobs, activities, and other stuff that i would fail time and time again in my fasting pursuits. many times i would begin a fast in the morning to end it around lunchtime. sometimes i would decided to fast a week and make it a day and a half... i say that to encourage any one who is desiring to fast, but feels like they are a failure. i actually approached the Lord about this when i was really struggling with the times that i did terrible at making it through the time frames i had set for myself. i felt like He encouraged me that He saw the desire of my heart to seek Him in this part of my walk with Him and He was okay with me learning.

now that i am a parent i think of when each of my kids decided that they wanted to learn how to walk. i did not get frustrated and upset with them when they would fall down. i was not hard on them when they were afraid to let go of the table to take that first step. i was delighted with their desire to learn! i did not focus on the times they "messed up" in their journey because i was so delighted by their desire to try! our youngest son, david, decided to start walking the day before thanksgiving. we were laughing, taking pictures, helping him up when he fell, and getting him started again - it was an amazing time!what an encouragement it is to my insecure heart when Jesus said,
if you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! matthew 7:11
so, even with a history that goes back half of my life in learning how to fast, it was not until recently that i started a new leg of my journey of fasting - the fasted lifestyle Jesus spoke of in the sermon on the mount. i would love to expound in a later post about the different types of fasting, but i just want to take a bit to touch on fasting in secret.

in matthew 6 Jesus taught on the different elements of a fasted lifestyle and i am so intrigued by what He said about the issue of fasting food:
whenever you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites {do,} for they neglect their appearance so that they will be noticed by men when they are fasting. truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face so that your fasting will not be noticed by men, but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees {what is done} in secret will reward you.
first of all, it is so interesting to me that He was talking to a group of people, the jews, who were very familiar with corporate fasts. some of the feasts the jews celebrate throughout the year actually have corporate fasting connected to them. however, this was not the fasting He was talking about. this type of fasting, i believe, is the fasting He was referring to when the pharisees approached Him with questions about why His disciples feasted while the disciples of john the baptist fasted. Jesus answered that His disciples did not fast while He was with them, but what He said next was very interesting:
but {the} days will come; and when the Bridegroom is taken away from them, then they will fast in those days. luke 5:35
i believe Jesus was talking about our generation and the day that we live in. this was the type of fasting He was speaking of in the sermon on the mount when He urged them to fast in secret in order to have a reward.

there is so much to this type of fasting that is new to me and to many people who are mostly familiar with the long extended fasts or corporate fasts! for one, it is about having a habit of regular fasting fit into one's lifestyle. i have heard mike bickle say that any healthy adult can safely fast 2 days every week! i am here to tell you that even pregnant and nursing moms can modify a fast, making it even a juice fast, to safely fast 1 day a week. this is something we can do! i will go into the why more at a different time, but i want to say again: this is something we can do! will we mess up? yes! many, many times. i do not think the fact that we mess up along the way is a reason to not start this journey that has a promised reward from the Father at the end. Jesus said, when you fast... He was not speaking to those who did not have the Holy Spirit. He was talking to us! we have the Holy Spirit... but was are still waiting for Jesus Himself to come back and place His feet on the mount of olives for real. that has not happened yet, for the apostles encouraged the church that we would not miss it and would know when it happened. so, this is our opportunity to fast out of our desire for more of Him and for His imminent return to reign on the earth in the most real interpretation of that promise! i get excited even writing about it!

as i promised, i will break this up so it is not too long to read in one sitting. what i want to leave you with right now is this: fasting in secret is for our generation. Jesus not only prophesied that it would happen when He was to be absent from us, but promised us a reward from the Father if we would enter into it. fasting is hard, but it is a journey. you can do it! i promise you will mess up. if you are anything like me, you will eat a spoonful of peanut butter while making your kids their lunch and then remember you were supposed to be fasting. whoops! it will sound like such a great idea the night before; then 2 hours into it, it will sound like the biggest waste of time and pointless. i know that i have had every reason why i should not fast go through my head when i attempt to do it in secret; everything from that it is just "legalistic", whatever that really means, to it is not really good for my body and i need to take care of my body, or it is a bad day for it and maybe i will try tomorrow instead, or that it is pointless and nothing comes of it anyways... and more! we are all human and it is hard for all of us, but i want that reward that Jesus promises, i want my Bridegroom to return, and i want to be the type of bride that He desires to come back to with a heart that is tender from choosing voluntary weakness like He did.

more later, but be encouraged! this is a very good journey. let go of the table a take a little step. you delight His heart.

click here to read fasting part 2



i came across an amazing website the weekend with the story of life! ever heard of a snowflake adoption? neither had i until i read doni brinkman's story on her website. she went through a struggle with infertility and learned of an amazing adoption process that actually allows frozen embryos a chance at life called snowflake adoption. check out this website to learn more about this amazing pro-life adoption option that allows the mommy to be to carry the baby in her for that amazing bond!

i would love to hear your comments on this! as i said, i had never heard of it before yesterday, so i am so amazed and excited about this miracle of life!

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