Archives For Presence of God

Panic crashing on me, I awoke when it was still dark outside. My heart beats thundered through my veins, I could feel them speeding up and getting heavier. Slow down, breathe, find peace. I practiced the normal tactics in times like this—tried breathing slower, tried to think a happy thought, tried to pray. But nothing worked—I was a wreck.

I went downstairs and lay on the couch in my office. Why was I so anxious?

I took account of my life. At first glance, I had nothing to worry about. I had a great wife, three cute kids, a job that fit me, a home, food, clothes, etc. Having spent time in third world countries recently, I knew how difficult life could be for people. Compared to my friend who lives in the slums of Manila or my friend who feeds orphans in Myanmar or my friend who became a widow in Sri Lanka, I had it pretty easy.

God, why am I such a baby?

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Part 3: How We’re Like Herod

Chris Heinz —  December 18, 2013 — 2 Comments

This Christmas series is based on a quote by Frederick Buechner about the parable of the Good Samaritan:

Is the point of Jesus’ stories that they point to the truth about you and me and our stories? We are the ones who have been mugged, and we are also the ones who pass by pretending we didn’t notice. Hard as it is to believe, maybe every once in a while we are even the ones who pay an arm and a leg to help.
And perhaps sometimes we are the ones in the Christmas story. That’s what this series is about.

It’s not a nice feeling this Christmas to think we’re like Herod. Well, not if you know what he did.

We’d rather be like Zechariah or Mary—heroes who overcame doubt and fear to walk in faithfulness.

Here are some things about him:

Herod was Jewish
He was King of Judea for 33 years
He was ruthlessly protective of his position
When I say he was ruthlessly protective, I mean he stopped at nothing to preserve his position, killing proven dissenters, suspected dissenters, and even members of his own family. Herod killed his wife and brother-in-law.

He’s the natural enemy in the Christmas story.

But maybe we’re more like Herod than we care to admit. And maybe having a nice Christmas feeling isn’t all God wants to give us this year.

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Part 2: How We’re Like Mary

Chris Heinz —  December 10, 2013 — 2 Comments

This Christmas series is based on a quote by Frederick Buechner about the parable of the Good Samaritan:

Is the point of Jesus’ stories that they point to the truth about you and me and our stories? We are the ones who have been mugged, and we are also the ones who pass by pretending we didn’t notice. Hard as it is to believe, maybe every once in a while we are even the ones who pay an arm and a leg to help.
And perhaps sometimes we are the ones in the Christmas story. That’s what this series is about.

After we meet Zechariah and Elizabeth, we meet another character—Mary. Mary is one of the key characters of the Christmas story.

Some facts about her:

Mary was young, probably a teenager.
She was pledged to marry Joseph.
She was a virgin.
The angel who visited Zechariah with surprising news (understatement) of their impending AARP birth, visited Mary with news of her own.

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This Christmas series is based on a quote by Frederick Buechner about the parable of the Good Samaritan:

Is the point of Jesus’ stories that they point to the truth about you and me and our stories? We are the ones who have been mugged, and we are also the ones who pass by pretending we didn’t notice. Hard as it is to believe, maybe every once in a while we are even the ones who pay an arm and a leg to help.
And perhaps sometimes we are the ones in the Christmas story. That’s what this series is about.

Zechariah is one of the first people we meet in the Christmas story in the book of Luke. To understand Zechariah, you should know some things:

Zechariah was a priest.
He was married to Elizabeth.
They were old.
Elizabeth was barren, so they had no children.
One day the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah with surprising news: they will have a son, whom they will name John (as in John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus).

Have a son in their old age? Zechariah was incredulous. But we can’t blame him. For years they had prayed for a child. They had watched their friends have children, but there was no bun in the oven for them. They grew loose and wrinkly, what happens when years have their way.

And all of a sudden

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A Prayer for Help

Chris Heinz —  November 6, 2013 — 5 Comments

God help me right now.

Help me to suffer that which builds, but shun that which destroys.

Help me to see the good that is not clear and the plan that has not been revealed.

Show me what you want to redeem.

Help me to walk in the love that is already in me, perfect love that loves without condition nor the hope of being repaid.

Help me to walk in you, in whom I have my being, and not only walk, but tread and dance and cling and sing.

I’m desperate for you.

Desperate like I need water and air and land beneath my feet and a lover for my soul.

Without you there is no light or love or affection. I need you.

Give me faith that trusts your present work, and when that work becomes sight, give me more faith to trust for more.

You supply faith to the believing and strength to the weary. I’m weary, my God.

Help me to love the ones under my care without reservation or expectation. Help me to see them as you do.

But most of all, help me to see me as you do.

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God help me right now.

One morning I sat down to spend time with God.

Sometimes I make a specific appointment with him and other times I don’t. I’ve found that he’s flexible and can always see me on a whim. I don’t know how he does this with such a full schedule, but I’m grateful.

Our time didn’t start off well. Yeah, I showed up, which is an accomplishment because half the time we make plans, I ditch. But here, now, something was off. We didn’t have the usual flow—the conversation, the sense of his presence, the interest. It felt like me sitting in a room by myself.

I tried a series of tactics to lure him out, but nothing worked. I was about to leave. Then slowly and suddenly, like a rose opening, a verse came to mind, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

Sometimes God plays hard-to-get; sometimes He wants to be romanced.

Here’s why it’s important to romance God:

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When you feel unworthy of God’s love, don’t.

Not all feelings can be trusted. They come and go as the wind blows. They can lead you astray. Feelings are not your true north.

God will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). He has compelled himself to obey His own Word because God never breaks His promises. God’s Word says He will never leave you, so He won’t.

God’s love is not based on your own nature or ability or goodness—it’s based on His. God is a God who abides, so believe it.

God loved you as a sinner (Romans 5:8). He’ll love you if you sin today. He’ll love you if you sin tomorrow. Your sin does not determine if God loves you or not. God’s love is a fact that resides apart from the fact of your sin. Your sin does not disqualify you for God’s love.

God loved you first (1 John 4:19).

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We recently watched a totally rad film called “Father of Lights.”

There’s a quote in the film that has me thinking. Banning Liebscher, Director of Jesus Culture, said, “In America, there’s a generation that is experiencing more options than any generation in all of history.”

There have never been so many ways to spend our time, money, and attention. Could it be that our choices reveal our hearts? Could it be that our choices reveal our hunger?

This reminds me of the words of Jesus, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:14).

Here are six people who were hungry for God. They desired him and wouldn’t let go. They followed their appetites, which led them to God’s banqueting table.

What can we learn from them?

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Nothing in your life is stronger than the love of God–not lust, pride, bitterness, sin, nothing. From CS Heinz, author of “Made to Pray” at the Chaplain’s Breakfast of the EnergyCAP Catalyst Conference.

What is Hunger for God?

Chris Heinz —  April 25, 2013 — 3 Comments

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5.6).

What does it mean to be filled by God? It begins with hunger.

I’ve been praying before, and suddenly, everything disappeared. All that mattered was what he said, what he promised. All that mattered was what he did, what he was doing. All that mattered was God.

I was at once like the dark, barren world before it was made, still formless and empty and void. Then slowly and surely there was activity, wind swooshing over water, the Spirit of God. Then a voice and then light and the judgment of goodness; not empty anymore. God filled me, and I could breathe.

I came into a sacred closeness with God and needed to discover him although I had already known him for quite some time. It seemed to be a period of open heavens, and I wanted to swim in it and savor it. Oh how sweet it was, the sweet presence of God. (adapted from Made to Pray)

I let my hunger lead me.

Hunger for God is the longing for God’s presence so that…

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