Wednesday, April 22, 2009

God our Rock

In a magazine this week I learned of a Chinese tradition. Somewhere on the coast there are two large rock is taller and larger than the other. Bhuddist Monks call them the marriage rocks and every year they bind these rocks together with a number of heavy inter-twinned ropes. They call the husband rock ...the larger more stable rock.

I was reminded upon reading this of the many times the Lord is called our Rock. The waters crash against those rocks. Storms hit the coastline and yet the ropes remain
constant. The dawn comes and goes. Sunsets fade and still they are there. It comforts me to know that the Lord is our strong Rock. We may go through storms or rain or heat, but still He stands beside us! Our amazing ROCK!

He is the Rock who is higher than I!

Monday, March 30, 2009


God has given me such wonderful friends! I often try to picture Christ walking
with the Disciples. Can you imagine watching Christ heal a blind man? Can you
imagine hearing him share about the Kingdom of Heaven? Can you see him calm the

My mind then goes to the friends God has given to me. Friends who helped put me
through college, friends who prayed me through lonely times, friends who laughted
with me at camp, friends who stayed up all night at slumber parties...what would we
do without friends. I have been a bit silent the past couple weeks because I have
entered the world of Facebook. It really has been a time of rejoicing for I
had lost track of so many people I love. In the past few weeks I have heard from
Barbara who was like an older sister to me through college. Then there was Judi a
very special Pastor's Wife and Mentor. Scott who was my team leader on campus at Clemson University. Dan who did training seminars with me at Pensacola. Jane who
was a co-worker in CEF. Carrie who was one of my pupils. Julie who had been a teen I took with me traveling on Deputation for a she has three children!
Mike and Cindy who opened their home to me and had me live with them for a year.

Each person opens pages of a book to me! It hss been thrilling to chat with each
one by way of email! Such a small tool...but it has given me a broader family and
allowed me to see relationships restored!

I believe it is Susan Polis Schulz who has said that 'friends sift through the chaff of your life and find the good'. How I praise Him for such dear friends who through the seasons of life have encouraged me on. How grateful for that priviledge
of being a friend to another. How awesome the task of being appointed a "Friend".

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I Chronicles 23:30-31 "They are to stand every morning and to thank and
to praise the LORD, and likewise at evening, and to offer all burnt offerings
to the LORD, on the Sabbaths, the new moons and the fixed festivals" NASB

Several days ago I read this passage in morning devotions. I have been
mulling on it since...

My dog Meah woke me up today to tell me it was time for her to go out. As
I sleepily pulled clothes on and grabbed her leash, I stepped out the door
into the most delightful symphony! It was still dark. Light was just faintly
appearing in the sky. Yet from the forest behind the house...the birds
were singing the most beautiful songs of praise to God.

It was such a compelling joy to hear them that I sat down on the swing and
with Meah (my black lab) at my feet, I quietly took in the praise! And with
their background of beautiful sound I watched the dawn come across the sky
and set it ablaze with glowing light.

What a time the Levites must have had as they stood every morning and praised
God and again at evening! I need to join with them to praise His name!

A few years ago I saw a movie where angels were shown to stand on the beach
every morning facing the sunrise and the heavens as day dawned. They did the
same at the top of cities during the day and again at night by the beach. Though
that account is did give me a picture of how many angels must
be around us at all times if we could see them. Yet I was reminded of it
again today thinking of them standing in the morning, at noon and in the evening.

The Muslim people pray 7 times a day toward Mecca. Yet as Christians...I
wonder what people might do...if the witnessed our standing twice a day to
praise the Lord?

Song To Jesus

Condemned by willful sin am I
O Blessed Jesus -God's Delight!
Why should the Pure and Sinless Lamb
Die for the wretched soul I am!


O Heaven's High and Glorious King
Accept the feeble gift I bring!
Of All I am and all I have
Thine by the blood of Christ the Lamb!


And when on Heaven's shore I stand
My praise of Him shall never end!
For I'm forgiven, pure and clean
Because of Jesus' Offering!


Holy, Redeemer, Saviour, Friend!
You paid in love- God's just demand!
My heart will praise you without end-
Pure Son of God- A Sinner's Friend!

RS Heiniger 3-1-09

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Picture of Passion

As I listened to his story it was as if it unlocked the dream inside of me- a passion for college students. His name was Rich K. He had been a football player at a state college in Michigan. He was good looking, was a lady's man and well liked by everyone he met and yet there was a piece of his life that was missing. He searched for it in partying and in being seen with the hottest women on campus. He searched for that missing piece in alcohol and in pills. No matter what he did that missing quotient in his life just could not be filled.

Religion? In his mind there was no God and the Bible was just a hoax. He would prove it. So he set out to disprove the truths that are central to our faith in Jesus. He was sure that with a little study he could prove that Jesus never had been the Son of God! He went at it with passion.

Every archaeological fact he could dig up and every historical account he could find however brought him face to face with so many truths that it was astounding. He went deeper and deeper into study and yet the more he learned the more facts came up to support a true living Son of God than disproved him. God was beginning a work in his heart.

In an accident Rich's nose became somewhat disfigured. To an athlete who was pop to whom the physical was all important this was devastating. He went into a depression one which would cause him to dive out of his dormitory window wanting to die rather than go on living in the pain he then felt.

However, in trying to kill himself, he instead dove headlong into a snow bank injuring his neck. He had tried to take his own life...but God preserved it! God had his hand on Rich's life.

Due to the injury he sustained while trying to take his life, Rich could no longer play football.His idols now at his feet...Rich was at a loss. On an evening when he was extremely overwhelmed and wanting to take pills to try again to commit suicide...God did something dramatic.

A pastor had a powerful feeling that he should go to the college that day. When he arrived he began to walk the campus praying about what God wanted him to do. He felt led to walk into a men's dormitory. Going in and walking the halls he came upon a room where he felt God was directing him. Walking into the room, he put his arm around a college student with long hair,ripped jeans, who because of his depression had not had a bath in days. He told that college student that God brought him to that room with a message for him. The message was that God loved him and wanted to change his life.

The student the pastor went to see? You guessed it! It was Rich. That night minutes from taking his own life Rich turned his life over to Jesus. As Jesus took control of his life, Rich left his college in Michigan and went to a Bible College. He later would begin a ministry to college students called Forever Generation and later Real Life Ministries.

Rich would become my boss within a couple years of his sharing that testimony. I have only met one or two people as energetic and passionate about Jesus as Rich. I would say that he was a modern day Paul. He was an igniter in my life.

It has been years since I last saw and spoke with Rich. I learned this week that Rich went to be with Jesus about nine years ago as a result of cancer. Yet there will be many entering the gates of Heaven because of this one man's passion to tell them about Jesus.

Rich was a true candle.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Overwhelmed By His Love

It was late summer and I was driving through the mountains of northern Pennsylvania on my way to a camp. I would serve there for several weeks as camp missionary. The route was a familiar one which I had traveled many times as I raised support to work on college campuses. I had a small Volkswagen which was loaded to the gills with luggage and equipment.

I passed a small town which was a landmark that I was nearing the last city. It would be about thirty miles or so to the camp. With thoughts on camp and what was ahead, I was startled by a loud spurting noise. I saw smoke wafting out from under the hood. I was already up the mountain side, it was late afternoon. What was I to do? I was a mile or two up the road from the last small town, I had expensive equipment in the car and best of all I had on high heels and a dress. Somehow, I knew this was another one of those God things. It was time for another lesson!

Gathering my courage and with a word of prayer for protection...I began walking down the mountain. There were no cars in sight...this was going to be a long walk! Eventually I made it down the hill. There was one small grocery store and a closed gas station. I headed for the the grocery store.

The gentleman at the store kindly let me use the phone to call the camp. Thankfully, I was
able to reach the camp director's wife and she promised to send help as quickly as she
could. I knew that could mean a couple hours before some one could get to me and then
another hour or so to camp. After a pepsi and sandwich I began walking back up the
mountain to the car. I needed to see if the equipment and luggage were still there.

The car had puddles of oil flowing underneath it when I arrived. I checked under the
hood as things seemed cool now...but there was oil everywhere. The car looked
safe enough to sit I got in...locked the doors and waited. Several cars stopped
to see if I needed help...but quickly decided that the car was probably beyond any
assistance they could give.

One of the camp staff eventually arrived and put my car on a flat bed behind the truck. He had friends in town who were mechanics. He determined we should leave the car with them and take all my belongings out. That was no small task with projectors and screens in tow!

That night we arrived at the camp and I was more than ready to climb into that hard
old bunkbed and sleep! I was peaceful...but I wondered how a missionary raising support
was going to travel without a vehicle. It was a mountain I had not had to face brothers for was me and God. Not to mention a couple hundred children!

The kids had faith that God was going to supply a car for me! They prayed all week that
either the car I had could be fixed or that God would provide a new one. Near the end of
the week with a church to speak in on that Sunday...but no car. God surely must have
a plan.

He did ...but it was not quick in coming. The camp director's wife offered to take me
to the meeting. On our drive back...she shared that it was just what she had needed to
encourage her to keep going for the rest of the summer. We prayed together about my
car and left it with the Lord!

At the end of the 2nd week of camp I received a call from some family friends. Bob and
Betty said that God had burdened their hearts to give me a car. They had taken money
out of their savings account and purchased a used car for me. Bob and his son even
drove the car up to the camp. The kids at camp had been praying all week and they were
ecstatic! They had gotten to see God answer prayer! I was blown away by such a gift
of love and support....away from the kids...all I could do was cry! I was so overwhelmed
that God would show me his love in such a tangible way!

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh
from the Lord, which made heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1,2

A Friend For A Season- A Foundation For Life!

Insistent that God had special plans for my life,this friend of my
parents exploded into my life. I was home for a few weeks of R & R after
having been on the road as a photographer for several months.
The minute she found out that I had worked on college
campuses she determined that I had to meet Leigh(the vice president of a mission board). She was not going to let me settle for being a photographer if God had given me the ability to lead people to Jesus.

In one week she served as the catalyst for what would become the next
six or seven years of my life. Life better believe it!
Within one week from the time I met her I found myself in a car with
my mother driving to Ohio to meet Leigh. I would be meeting one of the vice presidents of a mission board who worked with college students. Within a month
I was preparing doctrinal statements and about to go through an oral
doctrinal examination by the board of the mission as well as about 20

Not only had this tall thin blond nurse suggested that I go to work
with Baptist Mid-Missions. She proceeded to suggest that I move
temporarily to Toledo, Ohio and take the evangelism classes that my
Mom had written materials for several years under Pastor Pete M. I
knew it again...for some reason God was using this average Mom of
teenagers to stir up my life. God makes some people to be life

Needless to say, I moved to Ohio and took that evangelism course for
eight weeks while I awaited final approval by the mission board. It
was one of the best things I have ever done! I worked with a mentor for
eight weeks who not only helped teach me the gospel backwards and forwards,
but also put me in the position of sharing the gospel in every possible
situation. A fire had been built in my soul that no one would ever
be able to put out.

Was this Life Changer done with me yet? God seemed to have one
or two small tasks for me to do yet under her tutelage. Her next
little spur was to ask me to meet her every week at McDonald's for
coffee and prayer. She showed me a book she had found that you could
record your devotions in, prayer requests, categorize memory verses, etc.
Every week she would share one or two of her devotional notes and I
would share one or two of mine. We prayed and saw God answer many
requests. In six short months she gave me as a recent college graduate
a basis for a deep and intimate relationship with Jesus.

Then she decided it was my turn... she would ask me to take her daughter
Julie with me on my trips to churches to raise support. Julie would
play the piano for me when I had opportunities to sing. I would ask her
how I could pray for her.

In a brief couple of years she put all of her children including Eric and
Jason through my school of deputation and prayer. We became good friends
and even in later years if Julie saw me she would run down the hall to
greet me. They became family. Our season together was not quite done

My friend the Life Changer was asked to be on staff at the large church
we attended with the youth pastors. You guessed it she felt it was a
"God Thing" that I go on the teen retreats and share with them about
missions and reaching college students. I counseled students, crawled
through mud pits, and listened to testimonies at camp fires. I helped
head up a summer ministry for teens and traveled with them around the
city to help give them opportunities to share the gospel.

In the course of a few short years God used this dear friend to ignite
my heart. I had a passion to serve Christ...but she knew it would take
more than passion for me to deal with the hardships of being a missionary.
She took moments of her day and taught me how to plunge into God's word...
how to listen to His voice. She placed confidence in me and put her
children in my hands. Her final step was to utilize my skills and talents
and stretch them. God had me in training. I had the background,
training, and experience to serve God...but she saw more and wasn't
satisfied that I stay at that level.

It has been years now since I have seen Rosemary in person...but I see her
everyday. She was used by God for a season to teach me and was unafraid to
let God work through me. I believe we need more Rosemary's in the church.
More catalysts for Christ! There is a lost world depending on us to train
workers for the harvest!