Closed Door Blessings

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©️heatherdawkins.com

 

Maybe, just maybe, we look at closed doors all wrong.

There’s a popular saying that goes something like this: ” when God closes one door he opens another.” We just tend to think that it is going to open immediately. Like, right when we want it. We pace and huff and get down in the dumps all while we are claiming to “trust” God. It’s much easier to tell someone else to have faith and wait on God. When we have something occurring in our own lives we see how difficult the waiting can be. But there truly is beauty and growth to be found in the waiting.

 

There IS beauty to be found in the waiting.

 

There is also beauty in the closed doors.

 

You see, when it seems as if no doors are swinging wide open for you and that no clear answers are coming your way, that’s when God is holding those doors shut so that you won’t walk through the wrong one.

 

Yes, HE gives us free will, but I truly believe that when we are HIS he gives us protection as well.

Thank God for the doors that don’t seem to be opening. Be still and know that HE is God and HE is sovereign and HIS ways are so much better.

 

When we jump ahead and try to pull the steering wheel out of his hands, we often cause a wreck.

 

Waiting is hard. I know. I’ve been in a season of waiting myself. I get it. This is for me as much as it is for you. As we wait, let’s be grateful. I’m going to start my gratitude list again. Joy is found in a grateful heart. Maybe you want to join me?

Just start somewhere. Giving Thanks is a command that’s repeated many times in the Bible. It’s not just there to make God feel better. I truly believe that it’s there to remind us that there’s beauty in being thankful and joy comes from a heart of thankfulness.

 

There are blessings to be found in closed doors and in the waiting.

 

Learning to be still & thankful at the same time.

“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”

Psalms‬ ‭27:14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

 

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Without JESUS

I’ve found that with grief comes moodiness. Some days I’m more irritable than others. Some parts of the day I’m “ok” and at other moments I’m not.

Not many people see those sides of my grief. Or if they do, I don’t even realize it.

Truth is, I don’t know when the low moments will occur. Anything can trigger them. They may last 5 minutes. They may last 5 hours.

I’m learning that it’s part of the process. Riding the waves of grief. Learning to swim in it. Getting better at holding my head above the waters so that I don’t drown in it.

If I drown in it then I’m not shining Jesus like I should.

As the saying goes: “My lifeguard walks on water.”

I’m so thankful for this TRUTH.

Without JESUS I’d surely drown in grief.

I don’t share these truths for pity. I share them so you’ll know that you are not alone. Everyone will experience their own losses.

We are all appointed once to die. Eternal life is a gift promised to all who believe and call upon The Lord to be saved.

Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. (John 6:47 NIV)

That’s where my hope rests.
That’s where my source of peace is found.
JESUS.

Without JESUS I’d have no hope.
Without JESUS I’d have no peace.

Grief is real. You never “get over” the loss of those you were closest to. You just don’t. Nor should you. They are a part of you. You just learn to swim in the ocean of grief. Sometimes the water is calm and sometimes the water is choppy. You just learn to navigate through and soon it becomes your new normal.

With JESUS it is possible to smile through the tears and shine through the rain.

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living. (Psalm 116:8, 9 NIV)

Believe me. It’s true. But only WITH JESUS.

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13 NIV)

Striving to SHINE,

Heather

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What Are You Filling The Voids With?

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As promised, today I am sharing with you all the message that I shared with the girls last weekend at the “Girls Night Out” event. Of course, this will be more of a summary of the entire message. In fact, there will be two parts to this post, and I will post Part Two tomorrow.

My husband  let me know that I spoke for 40 minutes. EEEEK. I so did not even realize it! They were actually paying attention too! It was God’s message, so I spoke as long as HE let me and when it was over, it was over. 🙂  {and I thought I wasn’t a speaker 😀 }

So, here goes.

What are you filling the voids in your life with?

  What do you worship and obsess over?

Here is a list of “things” that I listed and that they told me that night:

Twitter ~ FB~Instagram~VINE~Texting~
Food~Shopping~Cheerleading~
Fashion~Clubs~Keeping up with the latest trends~Boys (because I was speaking to girls)~Girls (because this is a message for boys too) ~Friends~Internet~TV~Netflix~YouTube~Music~Tennis~Sports~Clubs~
Alcohol (I said this) ~S*x (I said this because YES inappropriate relationships happen) ~ Drugs (another one that I listed because they won’t say it but the reality is that drugs are in this world) ~Books~Hobbies~School~Work~
Getting the MOST Likes~Getting the MOST followers

You get the picture.

The above “LIST” does NOT just apply to teen or college age girls. It applies to us all. The reality is that we all have too much junk or have had too much stuff packed into the voids in our life that only JESUS was made to fill.

After they saw the visual of JESUS being covered up by all of the things on the list, they were able to see that JESUS couldn’t SHINE through with all that other stuff in the way. HE gets crowded out or covered up.

He gets crowded out when we don’t put him first and center. Filling up voids with meaningless junk or even good stuff leaves little room for Jesus. Then we wonder why we end up feeling so empty and alone or stressed.

When you are really close to someone you normally know their likes and dislikes, what they hate and what they love. Why? Because you spend time getting to know them. You MAKE THE TIME to get to know them.

The thing is, NO person, NO drug, NO friend, NO food, NO social media, NO hobby, NO relationship will EVER permanently fill the void. They may be a temporary “fix”. They may dull or ease the pain, but it’s like trying to fill a heart-shaped hole with a square-shaped piece. JUST WON’T WORK.

You start expecting those things and people to fill your voids and they can’t! Only God can.God created you. He knew you before you were born. HE loves you the same today as HE loved you yesterday and HE will love you the very same amount tomorrow. HIS love doesn’t change.

God made you for a purpose and with purpose. YOU were NOT an accidental creation. God made you, but he made you to love HIM and to SHINE for Him.

PSALM 139:13-16 ~ For you created my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

God loves you and me not like our friends and “followers” do. His love is not based on anything that we can or cannot do for HIM. His love is not based on who your “friends” are, how many you have, what you wear, your style or lack there of, or what your talents are.

His love doesn’t change. It can’t.

HEBREWS 13:8 ~ Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever.

Nothing in or of this world will ever bring you lasting and true peace, because you were not made for this world.

If you are a true follower of Christ, an AUTHENTIC Believer, then this earth is just a pit stop on your way to HEAVEN.

He will never let you down. He will never abandon you. He will never unfollow you.

We tend to let others down, abandon things and people, and we get let down and abandoned as well. Not by GOD.

TRUE PEACE. TRUE FREEDOM. TRUE LOVE…. Is found in Christ alone.

To know HIM you have to spend time with him. There is a HUGE difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge. Even the demons knew who God was.

JAMES 2:19 ~ You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.

Do you know HIM? Does HE know you?

I’ll leave you all with that for now. The rest of the message will be on the next blog post, Part two. I hope you’ll be back for the rest. 🙂

UNTIL NEXT TIME,  

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Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

New Year New Me

New Year New Me

Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:13-15 NLT)

It’s been quiet here on the blog. Not because my mind has been quiet.. Because it has not. My mind and soul have been overloaded lately. When that happens, I still write, I just don’t publish. Sometimes it’s quiet on here because God is allowing me some time to learn and grow and even rest.

Learn and grow … I’ve definitely been doing that.

Last year God pulled me back from leading a women’s bible study. I wasn’t quite sure as to why at the time. I still obeyed. Around that time, our oldest daughter, a high school sophomore, began expressing an interest in being in a private school or being homeschooled. She’s a wise teen with big plans and dreams for her future. We looked into both, prayed about it, and sent her back to the public high school.

Still praying. Still growing. Learning new things about myself. Learning that boundaries were biblical and good and healthy. Studied a book called Boundaries by Henry Cloud / John Townsend. I did some bible studies on my own, and completed reading and studying through the entire Bible for my first time ever.

Through the last half of last year, I had shingles.. Which was very rare for someone my age. Stress can cause them to appear to anyone who has ever had chickenpox. I was definitely under some stress. My husband had a back injury that had him confined to the bed and then with a walker for several weeks. Things fell apart in different areas and other things fell together.

I got well, He was healed while on vacation. I mean healed. Instantly.
God was good and always faithful.

We also suffered a tragic loss of a family member in December of 2013. God has been faithful and good to our entire family through that as well. Our family’s faith in God is what has sustained everyone. I honestly don’t know how those who don’t have a relationship with God survive the hard, tragic, and trying times in life.

Now on to 2014. After much prayer and research and more prayer, we signed our oldest up with a wonderful Homeschool group… Classical Conversations. She had her first official day of school this Thursday and we couldn’t be more pleased! Never say never… No, really.. Because that’s what I had always said.

God orchestrated every event and meeting and circumstance in a way that led me to meet with a fellow blogger, friend, and homeschooling mom. Which in turn led to us following HIS call on our life. To begin this journey with one of our children. Praying that our youngest will decide on her own to join as well.

Oh, I forgot to mention something. I was asked in the fall to speak at a girl’s conference at a local church. Talk about out of my comfort zone. The thought scared me to death. Me? Yes, HE said.. me. So, after much prayer and seeking wisdom from other Godly women, I agreed. Why? Because praise GODHE uses the ordinary to do the extraordinary. Thank goodness, HE also equips the called. AND… Because I don’t plan on speaking MY words. I only want to speak HIS. If one girl’s life is impacted, then I can handle a little stage fright.

I’ve learned to balance my life. Put my husband first, after God. I’ve learned that it’s okay to say no. That it is NECESSARY to eliminate stress. I’ve learned that it’s okay to set boundaries. I’ve learned that I do not have to allow negative opinions to affect me. I’ve learned that sometimes God requires me to do things that make no sense to me or anyone else at the time. I’ve learned that I do not have to make everyone happy and that I can’t. I’ve learned to be still and bridle my tongue. I’ve learned to set limits. I’ve learned to trust HIM more.

I can’t wait to see what else I learn this New Year!

It’s a New Year and each day HE is making a new me.

As a quote I found yesterday on Pinterest says: “I may not have always known what I wanted to be, but I’ve always known the kind of woman I wanted to be.”

I’m on my way.

I’m living for God.

I’m not backing down.

I’m not entertaining negativity.

I’m seeking HIS WILL in everything.

I’m stepping out, even further out, of my comfort zone.

I’m NOT feeling guilty for saying no to negativity or drama or for eliminating stress.

Lots of new changes this year. One homeschooled by me, one still in public school ( middle school). A 16 year old with a driver’s license… (Learning the real meaning to praying without ceasing). Speaking at an event for the first time, (In front of teen girls). Who knows what else.. I do know that whether it be good or tragic, God is good and will hold me and my family in the palm of HIS hands.

One last thing, I wrote a list of my goals for this year in my journal. Maybe you have already done the same thing, if not, maybe you should.

Just know this… Your goals are great but be willing to let God interrupt your plans. For HIS plans are much better. Even if we don’t always understand them.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8 ESV)

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 NIV)

Seeking HIS Will,

Heather

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They Don’t Know the Truth

They Don’t Know the Truth

After seeing a whole lot about false teaching…etc.. I was compelled to dig up scripture that related to it. 

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FALSE PROPHETS ~ DECEIVERS ~ PRETENDERS ~ COUNTERFEITS

False prophets and those who seek their guidance will all be punished for their sins. (Ezekiel 14:10 NLT)

Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. (Matthew 7:20 NIV)

Yes,” declares the Lord, “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The Lord declares.’ (Jeremiah 23:31 NIV)

and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. (Matthew 24:11 NIV)

“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. (Matthew 7:15 NLT)

Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. (1 John 4:5 NLT)

I have read and studied the entire Bible. I am not shocked at the False Prophets that are in the world. God’s Word tells us to beware of them. 

Why are people being led astray by the lies? One reason is that they don’t know the TRUTH. 

The ONLY way to KNOW the TRUTH is to study it. Read it, soak on it, study it. 

A few years ago I was teaching a Bible Study and was convicted that I had never read the WHOLE Bible..from Genesis all the way through the end of Revelations. Personally, I felt that I couldn’t teach what I didn’t really know. So, I began a long journey…taking my time and really studying as I read. It was life changing. 

 

WHERE TRUTH IS FOUND 

but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you. (1 Peter 1:25 NIV)

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17 KJV)

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 NIV)

The TRUTH is God’s Word. He is THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE. (see John 14:6)

If you don’t know it, you will not know the difference between truth and lies. You will be easily deceived. You have to know The WORD.

If what you are hearing and reading doesn’t line up with THE WORD, then it isn’t TRUTH.

John 1:1 (ESV) ~ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

 

GOD WINS

Then the devil, who had deceived them, was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:10 NLT)

And I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the words of prophecy written in this book: If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book. And if anyone removes any of the words from this book of prophecy, God will remove that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book. (Revelation 22:18, 19 NLT)

We tend to get frustrated with the evil-doers, the liars, the False Prophets. Rightly so. Let’s not forget they will be punished and God has already won!

People wouldn’t be as shocked if they knew The WORD of God. I mean really. 

A doctor knows medicine. A photographer knows all about photography. A mechanic knows how to fix things. A musician knows music. You get the picture, right?

SO, why don’t CHRISTIANS know all about CHRIST?

Seriously. Think about it.

It’s time to really know. It’s time to share what we know. The TRUTH. There are people being led astray. If we sit back and watch it happen then we are guilty as well.

 

Until Next Time…Seeking Him,

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Some Days are Hard

SHORT and SWEET SIMPLE TRUTHS

 

Some days ARE harder than others. Harder to choose joy. Harder to be patient. Harder to believe that things will get better.

ROMANS 12:12 ~ Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

I don’t know about you, but on those days, I’m even more heaven ready.

That’s where the “joyful in hope” comes in.

There is a peace that comes with knowing that this earth is not my permanent dwelling place. That HEAVEN is my permanent home and that is only because I know my Jesus and my Jesus knows me.

Do you have that assurance? That joy that only comes through knowing Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord.

Here’s the thing… What separates the men from the boys and the ladies from the girls… How well we shine Jesus when the days are hard.

What makes us think that we are so special? What makes us think that we should be exempt from the HARD DAYS? Jesus wasn’t.

The term “CHRISTIAN” means little Christs.. Like Christ.

Let me ask you this…

Did Jesus suffer?

Did Jesus have some HARD DAYS?

You better believe HE DID.

Way more than any of us. And.. Here’s the kicker, HE SUFFERED ON PURPOSE and FOR A PURPOSE.

Isaiah 53 tells us of the suffering and the glory of Jesus. Please take a moment and read the whole chapter..it’s only 12 verses.

Isaiah 53:3 ~ He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Isaiah 53:5 ~ But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.

 

So… When Some Days are Hard... I’m going to remind myself that any of my seemingly tough times don’t even compare to what Jesus willingly suffered for me.

 

Until Next Time,

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When You Are Hurting

by: Heather Dawkins Mt. CrossPointe (future home of CrossPointe Church)
by: Heather Dawkins

I wish I could give a simple answer. An AHA!! type of  answer..that could make things make sense to people who are hurting.

 

I can’t.

 

I can only point the hurting to the ONE who heals all hurt. In HIS time..in HIS way. The ONE who promises to never leave us. The ONE who gives wisdom and knowledge to all who ask.

 

I can tell them that I don’t understand. I can be real and honest. I can give all that I can..but nothing more. God is the only ONE who can heal our hurts. Dry our tears. Bring us REAL joy. God is the only ONE who is not capable of letting us down.

 

I can share how I have found comfort during times of struggle.

 

Prayer. Studying..reading..digging deep into God’s Word. Asking for fellow sisters and brothers in Christ to pray. 

 

Romans 15:4 (ESV) ~ For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. 

 

When health is bad. When times are tough financially. When precious children leave this earth too soon. When tragedy strikes all around. When our hearts are breaking because of hatred, murder, death, and our own selves that we battle. GOD is the answer. Not people.

 

The ONE who also wept. HE cares.

The ONE who suffered loss. HE cares.

The one who was spat upon and beaten. HE cares.

He suffered willingly. THAT IS HOW MUCH HE CARES.

 

Even though this world brings heartbreak sometimes… We can cling to the promise that THIS WORLD is NOT our home. We are strangers…just passing through. Heaven bound. If Jesus knows you. AND that’s a promise. A SIMPLE TRUTH…. That the troubles in this world are momentary..

 

Isaiah 43:2 (NLT) ~ When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

 

Until Next Time,

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Psssssstttt: In case you didn’t know.. I have written several other posts about struggles, etc..

Click here for another.