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“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.”-Romans 12:1-2

It’s amazing when left to ourselves how quickly we can make anything about us. Have you ever noticed that once we allow just the littlest form of negativity, pride, lust, or selfish behavior creep in that before long it can consume you and shade the truth? You no longer have the lens of Christ in which you see things and act but the lens of yourself or that specific character flaw be it negativity, pride, or lust. When those things creep in Paul challenges us to renew our minds or in another word, RESET.

As a kid I grew up with the original Nintendo system. I can still smell the plastic that system was made of. If you had one you know exactly what smell I’m talking about. And if you had any interaction with one you can remember that over time the picture would get distorted, or fuzzy…Mario and Luigi’s body would be at the bottom of the screen and their legs would be hanging from the top because the cartridge had dust and dirt that had crept in and slowly distorted the picture. It became an interference.
So what would you do? You’d take the cartridge out and blow on the inside of the cartridge and the slot on the system. You would RESET, and start over. It was especially frustrating because once the screen became distorted, you couldn’t tell where the fiery hammers (from the duck or turtles or whatever they are) were coming from to avoid them.

That’s exactly what the enemy wants is for our view of God and life to be distorted so that we can’t see the enemies attacks for what they are and where they are coming from. Paul follows this idea of renewing our minds by challenging us to look outside of ourselves. When you look to change a behavior what do you do…THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN DOING.Romans 12:9-16 “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.”

I don’t know about you but if you are human, sincerity, honoring one another, joy and patience are not things that come real naturally. Our sin nature is one that looks to satisfy self over others. Today I want to invite you to RESET, look for places where negativity, pride, lust, selfishness and deceit have crept in and clean it out. Get rid of it because over time, it becomes increasingly more difficult to battle distortion of the truth in hardened hearts with deep and dark roots of self.

Grace and Peace,

A. Heath
@drewheath
@heathsmusic

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Dear Andrew...

1 Thessalonians is one of those books that I too often overlook. I’m not sure why but when I think of the biggies of the N.T. and the books that I often return to over and over again, Thessalonians isn’t one of those books, but it is just as important as the others. Today was one of those days where I found myself camping out in Thessalonians. I was researching verses on prayer and I came across this passage. I have heard it and read it a million times. It is found towards the end Chapter 5 where it seems as those Paul starts to panic because he knows his letter is coming to a close but there is still so much more to say. Let’s pick it up in verse 11.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”So in writing to the church of Thessalonians, Paul gives us a checklist…

• Build up on another (vs. 11)
• Respect Your Leaders and appreciate them (vs. 12-13)
• Live in Peace (vs. 13)
• Warn those who are idle (vs.14)
• Encourage those who are shy (vs. 14)
• Help the weak (vs. 14)
• Be patient (vs. 14)
• Resist revenge (vs. 15)
• Rejoice always (Vs. 16)
• Pray without ceasing (vs. 17)
• Give thanks (vs. 18)

As I look through that list, there are several areas that I tend to drop the ball, yet I’m called to do them all. In this time of uncertainty and great anticipation, my prayer is that we will look for ways to build up those around us. I wrote myself a little note using Paul’s letter as an example…

“Andrew, why don’t you look for ways to build up those around you? Respect and value those who God has placed in leadership over you, even when you disagree with their decisions or directions. At work or at home, ask yourself, “what can I do to make this a peaceful place?”
Who around you is withdrawn, weak and in need of encouragement? Look for ways to encourage them, and if it happens to be the same needy people over and over again, be patient with them! You know those things, you hang on to because you were offended or felt mistreated, quit looking for ways to get back or get even! Andrew, look at the positives in all situations and NEVER, NEVER, NEVER STOP PRAYING! Be thankful and remember that Christ Jesus lives in you."

That last phrase in verse 17 I believe is the most forgotten phrase of the Christian life. Christ Jesus lives IN you. Romans 8:11 says, “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.


There’s a song we sing that has these words…”The same power that conquered the grave lives in me. Your love that rescued the earth lives in me” May we be reminded to trust in His strength and His power in all that we do.

Grace and Peace,

A. Heath
@drewheath
@heathsmusic

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5 Helpful Prayers

I have found this blog post very helpful...I try to incorporate these prayers into my daily prayer life.

Whatever it takes, Lord, give me...


Delight in you as the greatest treasure of my heart.

Delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
(Psalm 37:4)

Desire to know you, be with you, and seek your kingdom above all else.

Delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
(Psalm 37:4)

Discernment that comes from a renewed mind that I might know your will.

But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
(Hebrews 5:14)

Discipline to plan for what I discern as your will.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.
(Ephesians 5:15-16)

Diligence to do your will with all my heart.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
(Deuteronomy 6:5)

 

You can read it in its entirety here: http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/5-helpful-prayers

Grace and Peace,

A. Heath
@drewheath
@heathsmusic

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"Look at me! I look like Daddy!"

Those were the words that came from my 2 year old son's mouth this morning as I got him dressed for the day. And I can't shake them. Yes, I'm stoked that I have a "mini me" who desires to be like me. But what shook me is the magnitude of that responsibility and how closely he is watching what I say and what I do....and what I wear! 

Philippians 2 is one of my favorite passages where Paul writes, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing  by taking the very nature of a servant,  being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!"

I'm a work in progress no doubt, but does my life reflect my Heavenly Father? Do I value others above myself? Do I have the attitude of a servant? Or do I get ready for each day worried about how others will perceive me out of my own selfish ambition? My hope is that they will they see a man clothed with the humility and attitude of Christ?

Galatians 3:26-27 says, "So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ."

I heard a quote recently and since then have heard it so many times that I'm not sure who said it...but it goes something like this. "Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be what you do but who you raise!"

I am so grateful for the reminder God has blessed me with. That reminder's name is Jude and he is watching every thing I do and say. I pray that my life is a reflection of Christ. I pray that I can say..."I look like Daddy!"

Grace and Peace,

A. Heath
@drewheath
@heathsmusic

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