Blog Posts

Psalm 10

Psalm 10 is a cry from the author’s heart when he sees the pride of the wicked that leads them to reject God and mistreat people, especially the poor. This pattern still dominates our world today.

The author has great confidence that God will hear and act. He closes with these wonderful hopeful words:

The LORD is king forever and ever; the nations perish from his land. O LORD, you hear the desire of the afflicted; you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.

Read Psalm 10

Psalm 8

This beautiful hymn celebrating the majesty of our great God also asks a wonderful question: “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” The Scripture plainly speaks to the enormity of the sin of mankind, but it also reminds us that even so, we are still made in God’s image and likeness and carry divine given dignity. How God values us, even in our fallenness!

Read Psalm 8

Genesis 12

In Genesis 11, God thwarted the rebellion of mankind by confusing man’s language and plans. As a result, the tribes and clans of all peoples scattered around the world. But God’s plan wasn’t just to hinder the growth of evil, but to redeem all that man’s sin had corrupted.

How would He do this grand work of reconciliation? His plan was to establish a covenant relationship with a man named Abram (Abraham). Through the family of this chosen man the promised seed of a woman (Genesis 3) would come.

Point to ponder: What promises did God make to Abraham?

Read Genesis 12

Genesis 11

So far in Genesis we have seen how the sin of mankind completely corrupted God’s perfect world. The corruption became so great, the great flood of Noah’s day was sent to bring judgment and purification.

God gave Noah and his family a fresh start in a brand new world, but it did not take long for mankind to once again establish a world set in its rebellion against God. As one, they decided to “make a name” for themselves and built a tower of defiance against their Creator. Their name and glory became more important than the name and glory of God.

Once again, God wisely intervened. He knew that if sinful, rebellious mankind would continue to work together in unity, corruption would exponentially multiply unhindered. God graciously brought division to those gathered at Babel by confusing their language. It was much harder to work together in their rebellion if they could not communicate.

How often we pray for unity among God’s people to work together to spread the truth and love of Jesus around the world! Yet, unity is not always a good thing. Evil men working united with other evil men is horrifying.

Read Genesis 11


The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:23-24

Many of us were anxious to leave 2020 behind. We were hopeful that a new year would bring renewed hope and healing. Instead, we were welcomed to higher than ever COVID numbers and increased political divide. The Heinen family entered this year more thankful than ever for God’s faithfulness. We are well aware of the problems of this world. We have family members who have struggled with COVID and other hospitalizations. Yet, we are amazed how much bigger God is than our problems.

Rebekah and Tim celebrated their first wedding anniversary on January 17th. What a year to begin a marriage! Here are some words from Rebekah:

Hello from New Jersey! January is full of excitement around the Thorpe household! I (Rebekah) start my new dream job working with homeless families on the 25th! I couldn’t be more excited to live out the call God has placed on my life! We also get to celebrate our first wedding anniversary on the 17th!!! We went to Dave and Busters (a giant arcade) yesterday to start the celebrations off early. I am more thankful for my sweet husband every day. Being married to him has helped me understand who God is in new ways as I experience how the husband-wife relationship truly is made to be a picture of our relationship with God. Tim’s selfless love and patience with me this past year has helped me fall in love with him and also with Jesus more every day! Speaking of Tim, he is working on getting into a drug and alcohol counseling program so that he can use the gifts God has given him in new ways as he ministers to those enslaved by addiction. I am so crazy proud of him for pursuing this call! We pray blessings on everyone this message reaches in this new year!

Victoria and Noah have an exciting addition to their family – a player piano given to them by a friend! Victoria’s school experienced some shocking heartbreaks during Christmas break. Please pray for them.

Maria continues her life as a college student. She has many of her classes online, a few are a combination of online and on campus, but none are on campus alone. She made dean’s list again (she has never earned anything other than an A in her entire school career).

Leah has suffered some difficult times physically, but continues to be such an encouragement to the rest of us. I continue to slowly decline physically, but am overwhelmed how “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Please pray:

–that Jesus continues to be our first love and that we share His love and truth with all around us

–for family members struggling with COVID and other major health issues

–for God’s provision, as we have faced some big financial obstacles lately

–for our ministry to the wonderful people at the Appleton Cumberland Presbyterian Church

–for our outreach to neighbors and to our community

–for us to face the challenges of our nation with wisdom and grace

How can we pray for you? Please contact me and let me know. We so appreciate you!

Brian Heinen

802 E 23rd Street Russellville, AR 72802 (479) 886-0765

Genesis 10

After the story of the flood, it is interesting to see how the family of Noah will be able to complete the task given by God to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

The answer to this is given with the “table of nations” listed in chapter 10. It doesn’t take long to multiply to a large number of clans and peoples. Sometimes readers skim thr0ugh the genealogical sections of the scriptures, but they are actually crucial passages. They not only remind us of the importance of history, they remind us where we came from, which helps us to understand where we are today. The genealogies also help the reader to anxiously anticipate the coming of the promised offspring of a woman from Genesis 3. When would this promised One appear? To whom would He be born? What would He do when He would come to make this broken world right again? This is the main message of the rest of this incredible book we call the Bible.

Read Genesis 10

Wrestling with God

As are many of you, I am currently using a fresh Bible reading plan for 2021. Being January, one of the passages I am now exploring is the book of Genesis. One of the central characters in Genesis is a man named Jacob. Looking back at his story from our point of view, we understand that Jacob and his descendants will be the family line that God uses to establish the Israelites as a people through whom God blesses the world in fulfillment of the prophetic promises given to his grandfather Abraham. Of course, Jesus is THE ultimate blessing that came into the world through this family line. Jesus is our Redeemer who makes it possible for all of us to be adopted into the family line of God.

I can’t get away from Jacob. My daughter is constantly singing songs from “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” including “Jacob and Sons.” The Bible Project videos I am using to supplement my reading keep telling his story. And of course, in my Bible reading, Jacob is always there, being a major character from his birth in Genesis 25 until his death in chapter 49.

One of the things that Jacob is known for is wrestling all night with “a man.” He refuses to stop, wrestling until “the breaking of day.” Jacob told the “man,” “I will not let you go until you bless me.” We understand that this was no ordinary man Jacob chose to wrestle with, but was God Himself. The “man” wins the battle by touching Jacob’s hip and permanently disabling him. Jacob was awarded a new name for his efforts, “Israel,” “for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” (Israel literally means, “wrestles with God.”)

Devotional writers for years have used this as an illustration for how we must “wrestle” with God in our times of intercession to obtain God’s blessing. Yet, I am haunted by the words I heard David Wilkerson say many years ago, “The only person who wrestled with God ended up crippled.” By the way, do we really believe that God is so weak that He can’t overcome us until He wrestles with us all night? He can disable us any time He wants to.

Jacob was wrestling from the moment of his birth. His twin brother, Esau, was the first to be delivered, but Jacob followed close behind gripping his brother’s heel. Jacob means, “heel,” but also in Hebrew can mean, “deceiver.” Jacob spent his entire life thinking he had to fight to get what he thought he needed, and his main weapon was to deceive. He schemed to gain Esau’s firstborn birthright, which Esau was only too willing to give him for a bowl of stew. Jacob deceived his blind father to get Esau’s firstborn blessing. He deceived his uncle while trying to earn the wife he loved and his share of his uncle’s fortune. (As it turned out, his uncle was as good a deceiver as Jacob, resulting in Jacob marrying two of his daughters and giving him decades of his life as a servant.) He schemed to keep what was his when he went back to his homeland and faced his estranged brother. Jacob spent his entire life fighting for and scheming to get what he thought he deserved in life. And as a result, he lived a life of contention, broken relationships, and even physical disability.

As readers who know “the rest of the story,” we understand that in God’s sovereign plan, God was going to give Jacob the birthright, the blessing, the family, the resources… all the things Jacob wanted. Jacob didn’t need to wrestle and scheme, he just needed to trust and receive. Because he tried to get it all himself, he ended up with a permanent limp.

As I see the western church in our day, I see the same thing happening. We feel we need to fight to get what is ours. We use the tools of political schemes, psychological strategy, scientific insights, and sociological theory to claw our way into power. We think we must wrestle with God and man. Politics, psychology, science, and sociology are all useful and all have their proper place, but when they become more important to us than God and His authoritative Word, they become idols that lead to our own broken lives and relationships. How do I know if these things are idols in my life? I need to ask a best friend, who can honestly tell me what I talk about most, what I post most often on social media, and what I get most angry about when I lose it. Those things are what I really value. Those are the things that I herald as my “gospel,” my good news to the world.

Don’t we see our Jacobian error? We don’t need to fight and scheme to gain what we think we want or to prevent ourselves from losing what we think we have. We need to simply trust and believe. Every spiritual blessing is found in Christ. He knows what we truly need. He has already given us all the blessings we need when He gave us Himself. Believe. Trust. Receive. Don’t wrestle with man. Our battle is not against flesh and blood. And certainly don’t wrestle with God. Remember, the only one who wrestled with God ended up crippled.

Psalm 7

In the beginning of the book of Psalms, it is evident that David has faced much conflict. In chapter 7 the opposition is coming from a fellow Israelite. David takes great comfort in the judgment of his God. The idea of judgment can be a scary one, if the idea is that I will be judged. Yet, if the focus is on a God who sees how others are mistreating you, the idea of judgment is a hopeful one. David actually asks God if he has done anything wrong in this situation, which is a very brave question. David is confident in his own innocence, but even more confident in God’s righteous judgment.

Read Psalm 7

Genesis 9

Genesis 9 reveals a new world after the flood, but a different world. No longer will man exercise his dominion over animals in the way that resembled Eden. Instead, animals would have “fear and dread” of man (setting the stage for the “great hunter,” Nimrod, introduced in chapter 10). No longer would man rely on plants alone for food. Now he would be carnivorous. Man is instructed that when animals are eaten, their blood is not to be eaten, in recognition that all life is a precious gift from God.

Now that man is starting to slaughter animals, he is reminded that man is not just an animal, but a creature made in the image of God. As such, respecting the value of a human life, severe punishment was prescribed for murder.

The chapter also includes the first covenant God establishes with man. The sign of the covenant is a rainbow. The next time you see the rainbow, remember that God is a faithful, promise-keeping God. And remember that all of God’s covenants with people are fulfilled in His Son, Jesus.

Read Genesis 9

Genesis 8

The story of the flood of Noah’s day is one that describes the horror of sin and rebellion against God and the just judgment against the rebels that is well deserved. It is a story that takes your breath away. But then the reader is directed to this passage: “But God remembered Noah…” What an incredible, hope-filled passage in a story of so little hope. To “remember” in Hebrew thought is not something done because something else has been forgotten. It is not like God said, “Oh, I almost forgot, there’s Noah in that boat.” To remember is to see someone you have a relationship with and to see all that they are going through and to then act on their behalf. God remembered his people, was well aware of their predicament, and took action to help. He still remembers His people today!

Point to ponder: What does the judgment of the flood narrative teach us about us and about God?

Read Genesis 8

Genesis 7

Genesis chapter 7 is an incredibly sobering chapter. The entire human race, consumed by its evil and rebellion toward God, is destroyed. Only one righteous man and his family, along with representatives of each animal species, is provided a way of escape to reestablish God’s earth. God takes sin seriously, but also provides a way of escape. His name is Jesus!

Read Genesis 7

Genesis 6

The story of Noah and famous his ark is not the familiar floating zoo scene portrayed in church nursery murals complete with smiling animals. It is actually a picture of the enormity of man’s sin which spreads everywhere and corrupts everything and is eclipsed only by God’s sovereign grace. It is summarized in this startling passage:

“The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.” (Genesis 6:5-8 ESV)

Let this scripture sink in. The worldview that presents man being inherently good is nowhere to be seen. How is it like our modern world?

Read Genesis 6

Psalm 6

One thing that we have learned about David from our time in the Psalms is that he often suffered. Quite often even those close to him became his enemies who yearned for his destruction and death. David does not tell us the exact circumstances he faces as he pens this poem. Whatever the cause, his despair is emotional, spiritual, and physical. His suffering makes him fear that God will join in and punish him further.

Yet, he knows that the answer is to appeal to God’s steadfast love. And he does. David the giant killer humbly reveals that he cries himself to sleep like a little baby. Yet, by the end of this poem, after he has had opportunity to pour out his heart, he is fully confident that God has heard the sound of his weeping, heard his pleas, and accepted his prayers. May you have this same assurance tonight.

Read Psalm 6

Psalm 5

In both Psalm 4 and Psalm 5, David declares that he is able to peacefully sleep knowing that he is under God’s care and protection. In Psalm 5, he wakes up, again aware of His need for his Lord.

David has confidence that God will answer his morning prayer because of his confidence in God’s heart of justice and righteousness. He knows God will always do what is right. David has so much opposition from his enemies that he cries out for God to make them pay for their rebellion against God! (Aren’t you glad the Bible deals with our real, sometimes raw emotions?)

David could fall into despair as he dwells on his opponents transgressions, but as he reminds himself of God’s constant care he finds himself once again crying out with these beautiful words, “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield.”

Read Psalm 5

Psalm 1

As you begin a new year, make sure you start out on a firm foundation.

The first Psalm provides an introduction to a hymnbook which leads us into a life of worship. It begins reminding us that the Law (Torah), which describes God’s covenant relationship with His people, is crucial for a life of true worship and flourishing. It sets before us two paths which are really two ways we can live. Which will we follow? God’s path, or the path of the wicked? You will hear voices today trying to get you to follow one path or the other.

Note that God’s path is one of delight and blessing. May I encourage you to follow that path, found in His Word, in 2021.

Read Psalm 1

Psalm 2

Psalm 1 contrasts the two ways we can live our lives. We can either submit to God or rebel against Him. In Psalm 2, we see how all men, even the leaders of this world, choose the way of rebellion and stand against God’s rightful authority. While these earthly kings boast in their apparent power, God views the whole scene from His heavenly throne, laughing at man’s true powerlessness.

King David and his royal descendants were to model to those rebellious leaders and to the whole world what a life of submission to God looked like, although they, too, became full of themselves and failed in this task. One of David’s descendants though, would claim the throne and set up God’s proper rule and reign among the rebellious kingdoms of men. The choice then is given, serve the true King in holy fear and rejoice in His kingship, or continue in stubborn rebellion and experience the King’s wrath. The psalmist wisely admonishes all readers to choose the way of the true King, saying, “Blessed are those who take refuge in Him.” May we heed that advice today.

Read Psalm 2

Psalm 3

Psalm three is the first with a title. It is one of the many Davidic Psalm. The title also reminds us that David lived a very hard life. At one point, even the son he loved tried to kill him.

But David’s family trouble is not the only opposition he faced. In verse one he cries out that “Many are rising against me.” This multitude of opponents mocked him by saying, “There is no salvation for him in God.”

How alone David must have felt. How helpless. No wonder he cried out to God in desperation. Yet, in the midst of this overwhelming circumstance, David is able to lay down and sleep. How can he do this? For many of us, any little bit of despair keeps us up all night.

David was able to rest in the midst of conflict because he remembered how God delivered and protected him in the past. And what God did before, He can do again! What did David have to fear with God at his side. No wonder he doesn’t listen to the mocking voices of his enemies, but instead again cries out to God for salvation.

Are you facing obstacles that seem insurmountable? Do you feel like there is no way out of your problems? Remember, “Salvation belongs to the Lord.” Cry out to Him today.

Read Psalm 3

Genesis 1

Genesis 1 gives an opening statement that is the foundation of the beginning of our world. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Before anything, God was. In the first chapter, God creates everything, including the crown of His creation, mankind. It is a world where God takes unorganized chaos and through works of division and filling creates a place for mankind, made in His image, to rule as His representatives over His world. There was no sin, no suffering, no sickness, or no sadness. There was just God’s shalom, His peace that resulted in perfect harmony. No wonder God described it as “very good.”

Point to ponder: How does this picture of the world God created prepare us for the future world God has planned for us?

Read Genesis 1

Genesis 2

Genesis 1 showed us the power of Almighty God as He created our wonderful world. The first few verses of Chapter 2 end that section by reporting that when God’s work of creation was done, He took a “sabbath,” not because He was tired, but because His work was complete. Chapter 2 then begins a complementary creation narrative, this time focusing on a more personal account of God creating mankind.

Throughout chapter 1, the name for “God” used by the narrator was the more general name for the Creator. In chapter 2, we are introduced to another name – “LORD God.” “LORD” translates the Hebrew, “Yahweh,” the personal name God gave when describing Himself to His covenant people. While chapter 1 gives us a magnificent account of the creation of generic mankind, chapter 2 focuses more on a personal creation of the first man and woman by a personal God.

What a beautiful picture is presented of a loving God carefully shaping the first man from the ground. This unique sculpture came to life as Yahweh breathed life into him. Man began his new life in the exquisite garden of Eden. He was blessed with the noble task of working the garden as God’s caretaker. Among the trees in the Edenic paradise were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which both play significant roles throughout the rest of the biblical story. The one prohibition given to the man was to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The garden was filled not only with plants, but also animals, which Adam named, displaying his authority over other created beings. Yet, the only thing “not good” in the garden was the fact that the man was alone. God put the man to sleep and performed the first surgery, taking a rib from his patient and using it to start the creation of Adam’s ‘helper,” the first woman. How wonderful that this beautiful chapter ends with the first marriage in all of history between this first man and the woman taken from his side. At the end of chapter 2, everything was perfect!

Read Genesis 2

Genesis 3

Genesis 1-2 presented us with a loving Creator birthing all that we now enjoy in this universe we call home. We see God’s power and might as he fashioned a world that He said was “very good.” Mankind was blessed with being His representative in this new world. God further blessed man by giving him the gift of a marriage partner, so together they could be all that God created them to be.

Chapter 3 shows us that even in paradise, man was tempted to make a choice to live independent of the God who blessed Him. When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they were telling God they wanted to decide what was good and evil for themselves, rather than living by God’s rule and reign over them. Man’s rejection of God led to paradise being filled with sin, suffering, and death. This was not the life a loving God wanted for His creation.

Yet, in the midst of God’s word to the fallen about the cursed consequence of mankind’s rejection of God’s authority, He also gives mankind a special promise that a son of Eve would completely conquer the Tempter. There was hope for the fallen because a special Son would come. His name is Jesus!

Read Genesis 3

Genesis 4

In Genesis 4, man’s rejection of God and the curses that follow are fully displayed in the story of one brother murdering another brother because of jealousy. Cain did not heed the warning, “The LORD said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.’” Genesis 4:6–7.

The list at the end of the chapter shows that Cain’s descendants intensify and multiply the rebellion, anger, and hatred that entered our world when sin corrupted all that God had made. How tragic to see man’s broken relationship with God that resulted in such broken relationships with each other.

There is hope, though. We are told that another brother, Seth, is born in place of the murdered Abel. It is then when we read these beautiful words, “At that time people began to call upon the name of the LORD.” May we call upon His name today!

Read Genesis 4

Psalm 4

Psalm 4 was written by David during a turbulent and troubling time in his life. David is aware of the opposition that godly (literally “those under God’s steadfast love”) people face, but displays incredible trust and confidence in his Lord in the midst of such difficulty. As he did in Psalm 3, he ends this song with a proclamation that he will sleep in peace because he trusts in God. How many of us can say that as we lay our head on the pillow tonight?

One statement stands out to me as I read this today: “Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah. Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD.”

Are you angry by what you see in our world today? In your anger, do not respond sinfully. But how? To start, why not take some time to ponder your situation? Why do you feel as you do? In your pondering, why not pray to the Lord as to how you should respond? Before you go to social media to vent or before you call the person who hurt you to blast them, think about what will happen if you react in such a way. Don’t think that the world won’t be put right if you don’t immediately share all you are currently feeling. Selah – pause, reflect. Be silent. Trust God. He can handle this much better than you.

Read Psalm 4

Making the New Year “New”

While January 1st is really no different than any other day of the year, it holds a symbolic meaning to many of us. We all fail and want second chances. Even for those of us made new in Christ, because of our human frailty, we rejoice that His mercies are new every morning.

I write these words with great hesitancy. You already are hearing from social media, your television, your church, and your family how you need to make changes in 2021. It is so overwhelming, you want to scream! Yet, I share these words not to add more guilt. I do not want to add things to your already overwhelming schedule. I want to share some things that have helped me grow closer to Jesus, which has given me more freedom and peace.

Here are some tips to make your New Year “new.”

Have some sort of sabbath in your life. “Sabbath” literally means,  “to cease, to end, to rest.”  God rested after His creation of our world not because He was tired, but because He knew He needed to give us a model to follow. We are so easily dominated by overwork. Work is a gift from God, but must never become an overbearing taskmaster that robs us of an intimate relationship with Him. Why is it that we humble-brag about being constantly busy, while not lamenting the broken relationships with God and family that are a consequence? Why is it that we take pride in working 90-hour weeks but don’t recognize the resulting sickness of our bodies, souls, and spirits? Remember to slow down and spend some time with the One who said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Speaking of time, remember to spend significant time hearing from and speaking to your Creator. What relationship can exist without meaningful communication? This means you need to spend time in prayer and in God’s Word. I have found some wonderful tools that free me up to enjoy God’s presence, rather than leading me to become bound to some legalistic ritual. One is PrayerMate, an app that replaced my old ever-growing and overwhelming prayer notebook. I recommend it highly. The other is to use a Bible reading plan. This benefits me, since on my own I tend to always turn to the same familiar passages rather than being molded by the whole counsel of God. In recent days I have benefited from the Gospel Coalition’s ambitious Read the Bible Plan. This year I am using a combination of the BibleProject’s Reading Plan (complete with their incredible videos) and Pastor John Soper’s wonderful, Mission 119 Plan. Another terrific option is the Five Day Reading Plan. It is thorough but not overwhelming. Whatever you use, remember to enjoy your time with the Savior as you grow closer to Him through prayer and His Word. Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. (Psalm 1:1–3).

Just as you want to strengthen your relationship with God, do all you can to get to know your family, neighbors, friends, coworkers, and church family better. Of course, this also means TIME. How can we love our neighbors if we don’t know them? Remember, going to a church building for a weekly service is not the same as getting to know your brothers and sisters in Christ. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24–25)

To do all this, you must have the proper emotional and physical health to invest in these important relationships. Take care of your body. Get proper exercise. Eat healthy. Make sure you sleep! Don’t get fanatical about these things, but be a good steward of the body the Lord has given you. 

Don’t try to add more to your already too busy schedule. Set priorities for how you use you time. Get rid of time wasters so you have time for the things that are truly important. Above all else, make God your top priority. I have found that when I do that, the rest of my priorities fall into place. Have a Christ-filled 2021! Let’s exalt Him together. 


Merry Christmas!

Friends, from our home to yours, may you experience the reality of the presence and peace of Christ this Christmas season! We are currently in the season of advent, which means, “coming,” or “waiting.” The idea is that God is sending something worth waiting for! The prophet Isaiah, some 700+ years before the birth of the Messiah, proclaimed that a very special baby would be born who would be a light in the incredible darkness the world found itself in. This helpless baby would actually be the answer to the mess that men and women had made for themselves. This baby was so special, he would be born miraculously to a virgin. He needed four names to describe His greatness: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. The baby’s adoptive father, Joseph, was told by an angelic messenger to name the boy another name, Jesus, “for he will save his people from their sins.” That promised baby was truly worth waiting for!

Today, we find ourselves in another period of “waiting.” We are waiting to get back to “normal.” We are waiting for jobs to return. We are waiting to be able to go to sporting events, restaurants, and concerts. We are waiting to hug grandparents and visit loved ones. We are waiting to gather with others in the Body of Christ. We are waiting for renewed health. We are waiting to attend long-delayed weddings and funerals. We are waiting!

And while we properly wait for things like vaccines and an economic upturn that may bring some help, what we need most is that little baby promised so long ago. Jesus is truly the ultimate answer for all we face in life. He came the first time that first Christmas. After His atoning death and glorious resurrection, He ascended to heaven. While seated upon His heavenly throne, He now works in this world through the lives of His redeemed people. He is coming again to set up His eternal Kingdom based in a new heaven and a new earth. He is still worth waiting for!

Merry Christmas from our family!

From Rebekah and Tim:

From Victoria and Noah:

From Maria (notice she did not give me a photo to share – I told her I would still include her even if she did not submit a picture. Contact Maria to see what she looks like):

Praises and prayer requests:

–We praise God for our Cumberland Presbyterian Church family! They continually bless us by by their encouragement and generosity. They showered us with food this past Thanksgiving season.

–We praise God for incredible neighbors! The Timberwood subdivision in Russellville is truly home sweet home.

–We praise God for His continued grace in our lives. Through the trials we face, we are able to see God and His blessings in ways we would never have seen in any other way.

–We praise God for our families, even though they are miles from us.

–We praise God for YOU, dear friend, and for your love and support.

–Please pray we will honor Jesus through all we say and do.

–Please pray we will have opportunity to share Jesus through this holiday season.

–Please pray we will continue to rely on Jesus to provide all of our physical and spiritual needs.

How can I pray for you? Please let me know.

Brian Heinen

802 E 23rd Street Russellville, AR 72802 (479) 886-0765