Monday, March 29, 2010


Weary describes me right now. Sleep has been hard to come by. I have been waking in the middle of the night unable to fall back to sleep because of thoughts racing through my head about what I have to do the next day, or with just the right words to write that note, e-mail, letter or motion that I need to write the next day. Lack of sleep coupled with the daily busyness of life can leave you weary and tired. The daily grind of life or storms swirling around you can leave you weary, tired and completely spent.

You know those days when you are exhausted-physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually? Have you ever felt this way and then you heard your child cry? Instantly you forget how you are feeling and rush to scoop up your little one. Exhaustion fades- your focus is to help your child feel better. And your child just lets you scoop them up in your arms, hold them tight and help them feel better.

We have someone we can turn to when the storms of life leave us weeping. Abba, Father God, is there ready to scoop us up in His arms and comfort us, heal our hurts and dry our tears. Abba is always there within reach when we need Him and He never grows weary. He is standing there arms wide open beckoning us to lay our burdens on Him. Abba can renew our strength and refresh us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We need Him to complete us and renew us. We simply were not made to travel this journey of life without relying on Him. Abba is our Creator and the giver and sustainer of life.

"Don't you know that the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak. Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:27-31.

Prayer: Abba, sometimes I just need to sit in your lap, be held, let the world disappear and your peace fill my heart. Please help me to sit in your presence daily to find the strength, peace, comfort, healing, renewal, and love that I need to accomplish your purposes for me and to journey down life's path.

Heather S. Deaton

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Are You a Part of the Story or Are You on the Sidelines?

"If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine." Matthew 10:38.

Today is one of my favorite Sundays at our church, Palm Sunday. Each year the church rents a donkey, has a teenage boy dress up as Jesus, and passes palm branches out to those of us who have gathered to march behind "Jesus" on the donkey in the Palm Sunday parade. Our church takes up one city block and those who choose to participate carry palm branches shouting "Hosanna" as we march behind the teenager dressed up as Jesus riding on the donkey. We also bring food to share before and after the march. It is a great time of fellowship for the church body.

The best part of the event is the church body gets to be a part of a Bible story. It is a great visual for everyone, especially the children, to picture what it might have been like that first Palm Sunday as our Savior rode a donkey colt from Bethany into Jerusalem. We get to start Holy Week the way Jesus started it. As a congregation we get to wave palm branches and shout "Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest."

I have to admit that I did not participate in this event until after I had children old enough to march and carry a palm branch. Oh, how I wish I had not waited to become a part of the story. This parade is an opportunity to worship and to prepare our hearts for the week's journey ahead from the King riding into Jerusalem on a donkey to the Savior dying on a cross for our sins.

My husband and I have tried to use this illustration as a teaching moment. We get the opportunity to explain why the church is outside waving palm branches and shouting "Hosanna" to a guy riding on a donkey. Why do we wave palm branches, attend church every week, read our Bibles, love Jesus, pray to Jesus and worship Jesus? Because of Jesus' selfless sacrifice so that we might be forgiven of our sins, have eternal life and relationship with God. After all, the Christian faith comes down to this one truth for which we all believe. Jesus is the risen Christ, the Son of God sent to die on a cross as the Holy Lamb for the sins of the world so that we, humans, might be made right in God the Father's eyes and have eternal life. Christ has died; Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

My prayer and hope for me is that daily I will choose to be a part of Jesus' story that He wants to tell about my life. That I will journey behind Him daily shouting "Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest" following Him as He leads me on the path He wants me to take. It is my prayer for my kids, my husband, my family, my friends, and Christ's body that we will not wait to become a part of the story He has written for our lives. Let us daily choose to get off the sidelines, take up our cross and follow our Savior.

Heather S. Deaton

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Calling All Speakers, Writers, and Leaders

I am excited to learn that Proverbs 31 Ministries with the help of Cecil Murphy is offering three scholarships to the She Speaks, Speakers-Writers Leadership Conference from July 31 to August 1, 2010. Wow, what an awesome opportunity for those of us who have a dream or passion to use our spiritual gifts and talents through speaking, writing or leadership to build His kingdom.

She Speaks is a speakers, writers, and leadership conference. Has God woven the dream of speaking His word to groups into your heart or do you just want to be a more effective Bible study leader? Are you serving as a Women’s Ministry leader in your church and would like encouragement or training? Are you a writer or do you feel God’s calling to write books, articles or other Christian literature? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then check out this amazing opportunity to cultivate those gifts, talents and skills at the She Speaks, Speakers-Writers Leadership Conference by visiting the blog of Lysa TerKeurst or Proverbs 31 Ministries website at Proverbs 31 Ministries - She Speaks Conference.

I believe God has given me the dream of writing books to encourage other Christians on their journey as they seek a deeper relationship with Him. I am starting out on God’s journey for me as a writer. I know that this conference could get me started on the right path with the right tools which is why I would love to win a scholarship.

I am ready to close my eyes and leap into God’s dream for me. I hope this conference will provide guidance and a stepping stone to offer me more opportunities to use my spiritual gift of encouragement for His glory.

My prayer: "Show me the path where I should walk, O Lord; point out the right road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you." Psalms 25:4-5.

Heather S. Deaton

Monday, March 15, 2010

Lenten Journey

"Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land. I will listen to every prayer made in this place, for I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be my home forever. My eyes and my heart will always be here." 2 Chronicles 7:14:16.

Lent is the time for reflection, for prayer, and for sacrifice. As we journey to the cross may we seek and find the risen Christ. Jesus, please hear our prayers, cleanse us, heal us and make us new.

Heather Deaton

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pleasing God

“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind. And, Love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27.

I tend to gloss over this verse sometimes. Love God. Check I got that one. Love neighbors. Check I got that one too. But do I really love God and neighbor? What does it mean to love God?

Pleasing God requires love for God, love for others, faith, trust, and obedience all wrapped up in each and everyday of our lives. I truly fall short. Thank you, Jesus, for the cross. God’s greatest commandment to us human beings is to love. That is what is pleasing to Him. It makes perfect sense, because we are called to love as He loves. If we love as He does, unconditionally, then our actions are for the right reasons and not for selfish or manipulative reasons. When we seek God’s purposes, God’s ways, to love like He loves, then our focus is on heavenly things and not worldly things.

This is hard for me. How easily I become distracted by life. When a huge project is due at work and stress is at its highest, love my neighbor is not my priority. My focus is getting the job done, not whether my co-worker is ill or going through a divorce. When the deadline is looming, I do not have time to stop to show compassion or check on my neighbor.

What is the answer? I do not have the answers. I am an imperfect woman who must continually seek God’s grace and mercy to cover me and my shortcomings. However, God’s Word offers guidance.

“For no one can ever be made right in God’s sight by doing what his law commands. For the more we know God’s law, the clearer it becomes that we aren’t obeying it. But now God has shown us a different way of being right in his sight-not by obeying the law but by the way promised in the Scriptures long ago. We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done. Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on our good deeds. It is based on our faith. So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law. Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.” Romans 3:20 -22; 27-28; 31.

God wants a deep relationship with us. Daily we must seek (1) God, (2) the cross,(3) His love, (4) His wisdom and (5) His purpose for us. We must remember His love for us and His mandate that we love others the way He does. If we are seeking Him, praying to Him, studying His Word, then our focus is on Him and He can change us. Becoming available to Him to allow Him to enter into relationship with us and to change us is the only way to please Him. His changes in us allow us to love Him, love our neighbors, trust and obey Him and have faith.

Prayer: Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit, I am not capable of pleasing you without your transforming love. Please pursue me and do not leave me where I am. Help me seek you and find you. In your loving hands, please change me so that I may please you by loving you with my whole heart, mind and strength. Please help me love others, trust you, obey you and have abiding faith in you. Amen.

I am participating in Rachel Olsen's devotion carnival tomorrow, March 15, 2010. Click on her name here Rachel Olsen and check it out. Be ready for lots of encouragement from writers across the country on the topic of pleasing God.

Heather S. Deaton

Friday, March 5, 2010

Are you Feet Standing Firm?

"Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord." Psalms 27:14.

Waiting is something our society is not used to doing in this age of texting, facebook, internet, skype, tv and radio. We can stay connected and know what is happening in our friends lives and around the world with the click of a mouse or the tv remote. We can even have news e-mailed to us from our local or national news channels. Waiting can seem lonely and deafening, when you are walking through the desert.

When I think of "walking through the desert" spiritually, I think of times when you are longing, thirsting, seeking God's presence, but in our humanity we cannot feel His presence. It could even be a sense of feeling abandoned by the Creator God. We all have these times, these ebbs and flows in our relationship and walk with Father God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. During these times, it can be difficult to firmly plant your feet or to see what is ahead. Weariness or fatigue can make it difficult to hold fast to God's promises and stand firm in His truth. The intense heat can make you think you see things which are not there and the sandstorms whirling about make it impossible to see more than two feet ahead.

This past Sunday, my pastor said that when you feel the presence of God or when you feel abandoned by God, you must make sure that your feet are firmly planted in the Truth. This resonated so much for me. I've been walking through the desert for months now. There is no doubt it is so very important during the desert periods that your feet are standing firm. This is where the rubber meets the road so to speak. This is when we put into practice our faith. Do you we really believe all of God's promises or are they just neat stories in a great book? What are they to us?

He never abandons us. Never leaves us. "Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever." Psalms 23:6.

Earlier this week the writer of a devotion I was reading cited Psalms 27. Wow, the words leapt off the page when I read them. It has been too long since I have really felt like God was saying, "Heather, read carefully, I'm talking to you." I really needed that too. The Psalmist was saying everything I had been feeling for months.

Though spiritually I have felt as if I were walking through the desert, God has granted me His peace during this time. The kind of peace in the midst of chaos that can only be explained as God given. Though I have not felt His presence, I had His peace.

Today I understood what a gift that peace is. Work has been so busy and demanding of my time. The past six months it seems I finish trying a case only to begin preparing to try the next one. Despite the stress of work, this abiding peace has settled into my being and drowned out the stress. Today I tried a case which has been pending over two years. It was one of those cases which just wears you down and can suck the life out of you if you let it. As I went through my day, His peace was with me. At the end of the day when trial was over and I was on my way home, that still small voice whispered, "I've been here all along. I have been carrying you." His peace is His presence. He has not abandoned me.

Prayer: Thank you,Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit for your peace and your presence. Thank you for carrying my burdens and for carrying me. Help me to continue seeking You and draw me ever closer to You.

Heather Deaton