HEINEN HAPPENINGS – February 2020

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Friends, in this season of celebrating love, may we not forget the greatest love ever – the love our Heavenly Father has for us.  If you have not fully experienced the everlasting love of God that literally transforms us into brand new people, please message me.  I would love to tell you about it.

Speaking of love – Rebekah and Tim are married!  In all the wedding ceremonies I have been a part of, I never saw a bride glow like Rebekah.  I know Tim dearly loves his new bride.  What a joy to see two people brought together by Jesus!  They are now settling down to live together in New Jersey.  We miss them terribly, but are so thankful for all that Jesus has done in them and for them.

Victoria is working in an adjunct position at Russellville High School while she prepares for her own wedding in May.  Noah is now renting a home that he will share with Victoria after their special day.  Maria is continuing her studies at Arkansas Tech University’s elementary education program, which was recently recognized as one of the best programs in the country for teaching reading to students.  We are so proud of both of our soon-to-be teachers.

In the past few months, Leah and I survived the holidays, two graduations, a wedding, and having our oldest move away.  What joyous, exhausting experiences!  In addition to her mental challenges, her constant pain, her stomach ailments, her kidney disease, her fatigue, and having to put up with her husband, Leah is now possibly facing surgery for her arthritic knees.  Please pray for God’s healing touch and His sustaining grace.

I continue to wait for my appointment at the University of Arkansas Medical School.  My left foot has a deep wound that is slow to heal, so I am once again wearing a boot.  Someone mentioned to me that they feel bad that I can’t walk.  I can walk, but I do look a bit like Frankenstein’s monster when I do.  The boot further complicates matters.  Driving continues to be a challenge.  My hands are experiencing increasing pain.  I also am still waiting for my disability hearing.  Please pray for our Lord’s provision, as Leah cannot work and I have not worked since the beginning of last July.  We are praying for everything to work out for God’s glory!

May I also ask you to pray that God will reveal to me a little bit of what my future looks like?  I pray daily for complete healing so I can return to some type of employment and ministry.  Yet, I also pray for God’s strength and peace if the rest of my life includes the limitations I now face.  If I am not healed in the way I desire, what will my purpose be for the rest of my life?  I enjoy the growing opportunities I now have to spend time alone with God and to intercede for others.  Leah and I have more time to pray together.  Leah prays for hours throughout the night when she can’t sleep.  I am amazed by her intimacy with our Savior.  Now she can share a little of that with me.  Yet, is there something more we can do with our lives?  Please pray that God will give me wisdom for the days ahead.

I began this update focusing on love.  Once again, Leah and I need to express our gratitude for how God has showered His love upon us through His people.  The messages of encouragement keep our hearts strong and trusting in Jesus.  We even had a college friend go out of her way as she traveled cross-country to stop by to visit us.  People we have not had contact with for decades have reached out to us.  We are so blessed to have all of you in our lives!

Let me close with another reminder of God’s love for us.  What makes us understand the enormity of God’s love is when we comprehend the meaning of a little word called sin.  Sin is what keeps us from experiencing God’s love.  It is when we choose our independence instead of living lives submitted to the God of love who created us.  Because of our sin, we are unable to do what God says is right.  The Bible says we all fall short of God’s standard.  And because God is love, He sent His Son to do what we could never do.  Jesus lived a perfect life for us that we could never live.  He died a death we should have died to pay the penalty for our sin so we can live.  The righteous life of Jesus satisfied God’s requirements.  His resurrected life is a guarantee that all who accept His gift of forgiveness and new life will also live forever embraced by His love.  He offers His love to you.  Just receive it by trusting completely in all He has done for you.

If you have any questions about this, go to the “about” page of my website and view the “What is Christianity?” video.  Contact me using the information below.  Remember we pray for our family and friends!  Let us know how we can pray for you.

Brian

Brian Heinen, 802 East 23rd Street, Russellville, Arkansas, 72802
479-886-0765 brheinen1@gmail.com
Follow my journey on Facebook and Twitter.

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HEINEN HAPPENINGS – January 2020

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God is so good!  The Arkansas Heinen clan is two days away from celebrating the marriage of Timothy Thorpe to Rebekah Heinen.  (We will have pictures in the next newsletter!)  Victoria and her fiance, Noah, are busy planning their May wedding.  Maria is back on campus and is enjoying her new semester at Arkansas Tech University.  God has blessed our children in such wonderful ways.

Our December was filled with holiday celebrations.  Maria and Rebekah directed the Christmas program at church.  They did a terrific job organizing the chaos that occurs when the majority of the actors are under the age of 6.  I have to admit, I have never seen the Christmas story presented like that before.

Between Christmas and New Year’s Day, Maria, Victoria, and Noah drove me to Wisconsin for the gathering of the Heinens for Christmas.  For the first time in fourteen years, all us kids were together, along with most of our family members.  It was a glorious time.  We then visited my mother and step-father before we made the 13-hour trip home.  I am so thankful to the kids for driving me home, especially as my own ability to travel is so limited and my parents are getting older.

heinen christmas 2020

Leah was not able to make trip.  Rebekah stayed with her and prepared for her wedding.  Leah recently had some good doctor visits.  Please pray for her to be strong enough to enjoy the wedding.

Daily, I face the limitations that come with decreased use of my feet/legs and hands/arms.  Yet, God continues to pour out His mercy and grace on every part of our lives.  One again, I need to thank all who have prayed for us and generously encouraged us over the past months.  God used you to daily renew our hope.  The Go Fund Me page our girls set up is being deactivated, but if any of you would like to help in the future, this web page has a PayPal button at the bottom of most pages.  Please pray that my disability hearing will be held soon.

I am spending time seeking God as to what my future ministry life looks like.  Please pray I will hear His voice.

We love you!  Please contact us as to how we can pray for you.

Brian

Brian Heinen, 802 East 23rd Street, Russellville, Arkansas, 72802
479-886-0765 brheinen1@gmail.com
Follow my journey on Facebook and Twitter.

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – December 2019

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May the Christ of Christmas fill your hearts with renewed wonder as you more fully realize who He is and all that He has done for you!

This past month has been one of incredible blessing. Victoria celebrated her 23rd birthday yesterday by conducting a few songs at the Dover High School Christmas concert. She completed her student teaching at Dover and will graduate from Arkansas Tech University this Saturday. Oh, yeah – she also got engaged to Noah Greenawalt! They anticipate a wedding sometime later in 2020.

Maria finished her first semester at ATU. She loves college and has yet to receive anything lower than an “A” at any level of her education. Rebekah graduated with her Master of Social Work degree. She is finishing plans for her January wedding to Tim Thorpe and is packing for her move to New Jersey right after the wedding. Leah continues to be the World’s Best Mom to her busy girls. Leah’s health challenges remain, but so does her rock-solid faith in her rock-solid Savior. My “severe axonopathic polyneuropathy” continues to progress, slowly making use of my hands more difficult as it also creeps up my legs. I am still in the long process of being approved for disabilty. Through my physical and financial struggles, I am once again forced to be completely dependent upon my Lord, and He constantly proves Himself faithful.

We are absolutely overwhelmed by the extremely generous help we received from family, friends, acquaintances, and even from a few strangers. We are deeply humbled and thankful. We are current in our house and car payments and have not had the lights turned off, even though I have not worked since July 1st. You have no idea how much peace your gifts have brought to our hearts. Your emails, cards, and messages daily give us courage to continue to trust the goodness of Jesus. God has given us all of you as a very special gift this Christmas season. We appreciate you! And may God bless you as you have blessed us!

The go fund me page the girls started is still active – https://www.gofundme.com/f/heinen-family-in-need. Again, thank you so much for blessing us with your gifts!

If you do not have a church home and live in the Arkansas River Valley, feel free to visit us at the Appleton Cumberland Presbyterian Church on December 22nd for our Christmas program. The fun starts at 10 A.M., and we never know what to expect from our kids as they remind us why Jesus was born in Bethlehem so long ago. Message me for directions.

Here is a final “Merry Christmas” picture from our girls (and Noah!).

christmas 2019

Brian

Brian Heinen, 802 East 23rd Street, Russellville, Arkansas, 72802
479-886-0765 brheinen1@gmail.com
Follow my journey on Facebook and Twitter.

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – November 2019

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In this season of giving thanks, may you be more aware than ever of God’s love for you and His amazing grace that is offered to you.  Truly, “His love endures forever.”

Leah and I have so much to be thankful for as we approach Thanksgiving.  Our girls continue to amaze us and bless us.  Maria is a terrific student at Arkansas Tech University.  She just received news she can graduate a semester early.  She invited me to the homecoming game for ATU last month.  Rebekah drove me to the campus and Maria escorted me in as I limped up the ramp into the seating area.  Even though they lost, it was a lot of fun.  Maria continues to encourage our church family, teaching an upcoming Thanksgiving devotional and directing the Christmas play, both with her sister.

Victoria is just weeks away from finishing her student teaching.  She will be working at her alma mater, Russellville High School, in an adjunct position in the spring semester.  After that, the sky is the limit!  Her boyfriend, Noah, just landed a great job.  She is super involved during this season of school plays and Christmas concerts, and is loving every minute of it.  She surprised me by coming to our church on my birthday.

Rebekah is weeks away from finishing her internship and her Master of Social Work degree.  They will really miss her at the senior adult center where she has worked for the past year.  And she is just a few months away from marrying Tim and moving to New Jersey, where they being an exciting life and ministry together.  It looks like they have found a place to rent!  Please pray for her healing, as she continues to struggle with immune system issues that are yet to be accurately diagnosed.

leah and iLeah and I will celebrate 33 years together in a few days.  How blessed I am to have someone who radiates Jesus and encourages me with her love and wisdom.  Her health issues don’t get any better, but she continues to trust our Savior in a way that inspires me and glorifies our Lord.  Please pray for her complete healing.  We were lamenting today that her health problems and the medications she takes have robbed her of her beautiful singing voice.  Please pray that she will be able to sing again!

Many of you have asked for more information about my own health needs.  I am diagnosed with severe axonopathic polyneuropathy.  My feet have no feeling left, and my ankles and lower legs are severely numb.  My ability to drive is extremely limited and I walk like I am inebriated.  My hands have constant pins and needles pain and numbness which impact my fine motor skills.  Writing and computer work are difficult.  The symptoms continue to progress.  My wonderful team of doctors are unable to find a cause and are trying to set up an appointment with a very busy neuromuscular specialist at the medical school in Little Rock.  I have been on medical leave from work since July 1st.  That leave ended today.  Many of you know our financial difficulties over the years and realize that we do not have resources to fall back on.  I am working with a great lawyer to try to get disability, but the process seems to take forever.  (Leah does not qualify, as she does not have enough work credits.)  We survive simply because of the extreme generosity of our dear friends and family.  We are so thankful for you!  We continue to pray for our daily bread and depend upon the One who provides.  We never know how the bills this month will be paid, but He remains faithful!

I hesitate to write this, but if you feel led to give, the girls set up a Go Fund Me set up to help pay some medical and everyday living bills.  Thank you to everyone who has already given!  I am blown away by the love and support we have received.

https://www.gofundme.com/heinen-family-in-need

Leah and I were discussing the topic of thanksgiving lately.  She has lost so much because of her health trials over the years, but she remains so thankful to our Savior!  I more recently lost my mobility, my ministry, my profession, and now my ability to work and provide for my family.  I can easily begin a big pity party, but because of her example and the encouragement of Scripture, my loss is now turning into praise.  I am incredibly thankful for the little things I experience each day.  I can’t drive, but when I can walk into the backyard or across the street to go to the mailbox, I am grateful!  I can’t work, but when I can do a load of laundry my heart is filled with praise!  I can’t pastor, but when when my daughters drive me to our wonderful little church and I can expound on the good news of the gospel, I cannot help but get alone with my Lord and give Him glory!  I am so thankful for each moment’s breath, for all the wonderful people I come in contact with each day, and for the presence of my Heavenly Father who never leaves me nor forsakes me!

Some wonder why our family struggles so.  Weary friends question why the bad news never seems to go away.  Many ponder what secret sin we are harboring that has brought God’s punishment into our lives.  Others have thought out loud how weak our faith must be for our lives to be as they are.  Maybe my faith is weak, but while I may not be able to rejoice in the greatness of my faith, I do marvel at the greatness of the One who is the object of my faith.  Our family does face constant trouble, but remember the words of Jesus:  I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33).  You have trouble, too!  It may look different than ours, but you have it.  And when you are overwhelmed by it all, please remember the last part of the verse – we can take heart, because He has overcome the world!

Brian

Brian Heinen, 802 East 23rd Street, Russellville, Arkansas, 72802
479-886-0765    brheinen1@gmail.com
Follow my journey on Facebook and Twitter.

 

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – October 2019

Man-at-crossCome to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28–30)

From Leah:  I chose this verse to encourage you all. It has been a verse that has stuck with me for many years and means a lot to me. Blessings!

 

From Rebekah:  I wanted to thank all of our friends who have showered our family with encouragement, generosity, and love.  Life has been crazy this past month, but God has shown Himself faithful time and again by giving us Scripture, songs, and encouragement from loved ones to keep us going.

Dad’s health continues to deteriorate. He has been to various specialists and doctors. It is a bit discouraging to experience how long every medical process seems to take. Every new referral, every part of the disability process, and every waiting period for test results bring more questions than answers. Currently our family doctor is trying to send Daddy to UAMS for more testing to see why in the world his nerve damage is rapidly progressing.

Amidst all that chaos, life has also been moving fast for all of us girls as well! Maria is doing great in her first semester of college. She says her classes are easier than high school haha.

Victoria is so close to graduating! She will have her choral music teaching degree in December! Right now she is enjoying finishing up student teaching, leading voice and piano lessons, and giving googly love-eyes to her man. 😉

My life is revving up too! I will be done with my Masters Degree in Social Work in December. I am absolutely loving my internship working with geriatric patients, and I will miss them dearly. I also am only 91 days away from getting MARRIED to the love of my life, Timothy Thorpe!! We had a beautiful shower last weekend at Church, and it is all getting sooo real. I am blessed to have this time left with my family before moving away to be with my honey in New Jersey.

We are all in different seasons of life but God is showing Himself to be faithful in them all. Every step He proves His goodness. Every second He whispers His love. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of helping us keep our eyes on Jesus through the thick and thin of our crazy lives.

If you would please be praying for all of us in this transition and also as we face the uncertainty (money-related and otherwise) of Daddy’s medical problems we would appreciate it! Please let us know how we can pray for you too! My momma especially is a super-prayer warrior and would love to lift your needs to our loving Heavenly Father.

And if you feel led to give, we also have a Go Fund Me set up to help pay some medical and everyday living bills. Thank you to everyone who has already given! I am blown away by the love and support we have received.

https://www.gofundme.com/heinen-family-in-need  

 Now all glory to God, Who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the Church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21 NLT)

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – September 2019

Friends, I have a short prayer update for you this month. Please pray for God’s financial provision for our family. Many of you know that Leah has been homebound due to physical and emotional challenges. I am now unable to work because of my own health challenges. It is so frustrating not being able to do anything to change my circumstances. I am forced to rely completely on God’s mercy, which is a lesson I need to learn and live everyday.  I did not want to share this need, but our Lord encouraged me to humble myself and ask for prayer.

I have some major neurological tests this week. Please pray. God is able.

Here is a Scripture that I am praying this week. May it encourage your heart.

1 In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame! 2 In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me, and save me! 3 Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. 4 Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man. 5 For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. 6 Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you. 7 I have been as a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge. 8 My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day. 9 Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent. – Psalm 71:1-9

We so love and appreciate our many friends who faithfully pray for us and encourage us in a multitude of ways.  Please contact us with your own prayer needs and praises.  May God bless you with His presence and peace!

Brian

Brian Heinen, 802 East 23rd Street, Russellville, Arkansas, 72802
479-886-0765    brheinen1@gmail.com
Follow my journey on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

Heinen Happenings – August 2019

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127:3

Once again, as I share with family and friends the incredible ways the Lord blesses us, I must focus on how our Father has blessed our children.

Rebekah is engaged!  Our oldest is marrying Tim, an amazing gentleman who has experienced God’s grace in a life-transforming way.  They love their Savior dearly, and that love has drawn them together for a lifetime of love and service to our King.  God is good!

Victoria begins her student teaching soon in the music department of a neighboring community.  She also teaches voice lessons in a local music center.  She is in a relationship with a terrific young man, Noah.

Maria begins her first year of college in a few weeks and will be rooming with her best friend, Elizabeth.  Arkansas Tech University, watch out!

Please pray for our girls to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus and to continue to love and serve Him faithfully all of their lives.

Also pray for Leah, who continues to battle physical issues.  She experiences constant pain and exhaustion, but shines the light of Christ every day!  Pray that she will have the health and strength to be part of wedding plans and all the other wonderful things that our girls are experiencing.

Many have asked about my own health.  I am struggling with neuropathy, which started some time ago in my feet, but is now spreading up to my knees.  I am not able to drive very well as a result.  My balance is off, and I occasionally stumble or fall.  My hands experience pain and numbness, which makes writing and turning the pages of my Bible difficult.  I sometimes drop things, including Leah’s serving bowl and platter – sorry, Sweetie!

I am under the care of four great doctors who are trying to figure things out.  My neurologist recently tripled my medication, which seems to be helping a little.  Many more tests are in my immediate future.  I have been off of work since July 1st.  Please pray for God’s provision with no paychecks and many medical bills.  And please pray I will glorify God through it all!

We so love and appreciate our many friends who faithfully pray for us and encourage us in a multitude of ways.  Please contact us with your own prayer needs and praises.  May God bless you with His presence and peace!

Brian

Brian Heinen, 802 East 23rd Street, Russellville, Arkansas, 72802
479-886-0765    brheinen1@gmail.com
Follow my journey on Facebook and Twitter.