HEINEN HAPPENINGS – September 2022

One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. Psalm 27:4

I trust you are enjoying the transition into the fall season. Hopefully things will cool off in your part of the world soon. Football is starting, and the kids can make some new friends at school. May God bless this new, exciting chapter of our lives.

Our family is doing well. Maria is doing her student teaching in a third grade class in a neighboring community. She loves it and is doing a terrific job. It is hard to believe she will graduate in December. She just turned 21 a month ago!

Victoria and Noah are doing great. Victoria started a new job as the choir director for the Conway Middle School, which has one of the top choir programs around. She has to drive a bit each day, as does Noah, but they don’t seem to mind.

Rebekah and Tim are surviving the flooding that New Jersey has experienced lately. They continue to serve in their local church and enjoy time spent with Tim’s family. Rebekah relishes the role of “auntie.”

Leah and I are trying to recover from a three month battle with illness and injury. I had a kidney stone, colon obstruction, and then bronchitis. Leah tore her meniscus and still has a cough that just won’t leave her alone. We did not get COVID, which is a blessing. Sorry to those of you who may have called, emailed, or messaged us. We didn’t feel much like corresponding. We did meet a nice man from Nigeria when we took a cab to the doctor. We had a great discussion about our families and our faith. His family was supposed to join him here sometime soon. Please pray for their reunion.

Since I lost the ability to drive, I miss the freedom that comes with just getting in the car and hitting the road. I drove almost daily to one of our local parks or walking trails. One of the destinations I miss most is Lake Dardanelle State Park, just ten minutes from our house. I really miss the sunsets. Here are a few pics from the park from the Only in Arkansas website.

I was recently praying about some of the losses I experienced in recent years because of illness. The loss of dreams, plans, vocation, ministry opportunities, and independence have been tough, but have taught me several wonderful lessons. One of the most important is illustrated by Psalm 27:4. King David was in one of the many time periods in his life when he was concerned about his enemies doing him harm. Yet, in this moment of great turmoil, his one desire and request was to dwell in the house of God and gaze on His beauty.

This wording may make some uncomfortable. Many men have criticized some modern worship music as “girlfriend songs.” I am not sure what songs were being referred to or what exactly was meant, but I think these critics may have a misunderstanding of this idea of “beauty.” Beauty is not just a sexual thing. The beauty of the park or the sunsets across the lake are indeed beautiful and have nothing to do with sexuality. They inspire the heart and bring pleasure and joy to the soul. That is the meaning of Scripture and of this text. The beauty of God takes our breath away and gives meaning to our lives and strength to our hearts. This is what David knows he needs when all else seems dire. He needs to experience God face-to-face.

He continues with this theme in verses 7-8:

Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”

“Face” and “presence” are synonyms in the Old Testament. David wants to meet with God and have a face-to-face meeting to talk, to listen, and to experience His Presence and friendship.

God reminds us in the Old Testament that because He is holy and we are not, we “cannot see my (God’s) face, for man shall not see me and live.” How wonderful that because of the finished work of Jesus we can now enjoy God face-to-face! This is the same Jesus described as one with “no beauty that we should desire him.” This same Jesus opens our eyes to the beauty of God!

If you find yourself in a time of trouble, you may be reminded about what is really important. And what is of extreme importance is God. Knowing God. Enjoying friendship with Him. Gazing upon His beauty.

Where David knows he can gaze upon God is not just in nature or in a moment of solitude and silence, it is in the tent of God. This is the place of sacrifice and worship. It is a smelly, loud, but wonderful place where God’s people gather to be reconciled to Him and worship Him. What better place to meet with God than with others who reflect His image and want to seek Him together. That is where you will find Him. Going through loss has taught me what is really important. The things I lost are temporary and cannot ever truly satisfy. Only friendship with God is eternal and fulfilling. This is what I need to seek. This is what you need to seek.

Tim Keller tells the story of Allan Gardner, who in the 1850’s sailed off to South America to open a mission station to reach those who never heard of Jesus. He left everything behind to give his life to God’s service. He never made it. His ship went down and he found himself stranded on an island, where he died of starvation and thirst. Later, his body and his personal journal were found. His last entry was Psalm 34:10: The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. He then added, “I am overwhelmed with a sense of the goodness of God.” How could this man who was a failure as a missionary, who was in agony because of hunger and thirst, write these words? Why didn’t he cry out in anger to God, “God, I gave up everything for you! How could You allow this to happen to me?” It was because He knew what David wrote in Psalm 27. Nothing matters more than the goodness and beauty of God.

How can I pray for you? Please let me know. We love and appreciate you!

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

bheinen.com  brheinen1@gmail.com

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – May 2022

Friends, I have not written an update in a few months due to my frail fingers, but I cannot allow myself to not acknowledge my dear wife, as we recently celebrated her on Mother’s Day, and her birthday (May 18th). She is truly the best wife and mother and is an incredible blessing to our family. I love her more every day. She is our prayer warrior and our encourager. Here are a few pictures (sorry for the poor quality) from our college yearbook highlighting her Christian service ministry. She was the part of several singing groups. She truly sings like an angel!

Leah continues to deal with her health challenges and homebound condition with much grace. She spends hours in prayer for our family and for many other friends. She is amazing!

Rebekah and Tim continue to do much that brings glory to Christ through their personal lives and church ministries. Tim occasionally preaches at his father’s church and leads a small group at their church. Rebekah received a promotion and began her new work responsibilities this week.

Victoria and Noah are attending a new church and are getting involved in a small group and in the worship ministry. Victoria is finishing up her school year as the music director of the Atkins school district. Her high school choir made a recent trip to Disney World. She also has a recital this week for the music students she teaches at the local music center she manages.

Maria finished up her semester with another 4.0. She loved doing her internship at a local kindergarten class. She has her student teaching next semester, and then she is done! It is hard to believe our now 20 year-old will graduate before 2023 begins.

I am only preaching twice a month now and am greatly enjoying the ministry of the couple who are taking over shepherding responsibilities at the congregation I serve. The Appleton Cumberland Presbyterian Church will be part of the local homecoming in June, hosting the Sunday worship service and participating in the community revival.

God is so good to us! His grace truly is sufficient, His strength is made perfect through our weakness, and His mercies are new every morning!

In my current preaching series through Hebrews, my reading of the terrific book by Katie Faris, He Will Be Enough, and our family’s study of Dane Ortlund’s masterful Gentle and Lowly, I have been confronted by the truth of Hebrews 4 over and over again this week:

Hebrews 4:14–16 (ESV)

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Meditate on what Ortlund says about this life-transforming truth:

The word for “sympathize” here is a compound word formed from the prefix meaning “with” (like our English prefix co-) joined with the verb to suffer. “Sympathize” here is not cool and detached pity. It is a depth of felt solidarity such as is echoed in our own lives most closely only as parents to children. Indeed, it is deeper even than that. In our pain, Jesus is pained; in our suffering, he feels the suffering as his own even though it isn’t—

When the relationship goes sour, when the feelings of futility come flooding in, when it feels like life is passing us by, when it seems that our one shot at significance has slipped through our fingers, when we can’t sort out our emotions, when the longtime friend lets us down, when a family member betrays us, when we feel deeply misunderstood, when we are laughed at by the impressive—in short, when the fallenness of the world closes in on us and makes us want to throw in the towel—there, right there, we have a Friend who knows exactly what such testing feels like, and sits close to us, embraces us. With us. Solidarity.

Our tendency is to feel intuitively that the more difficult life gets, the more alone we are. As we sink further into pain, we sink further into felt isolation. The Bible corrects us. Our pain never outstrips what he himself shares in. We are never alone.

May the presence of Jesus bring wholeness and healing to your hearts!

How can you pray for us?

–Please continue to pray for our children to know, follow, and serve Jesus. They all are at times in their lives when change comes quickly and opportunities to display the love of Jesus become available.

–Pray for the health of several family members who are facing physical problems. My parents are all getting a bit older and face the challenges that brings.

–Pray that I will be faithful in sharing Jesus with my friends and neighbors, as my church involvement lessens and as my body slows down. My feet/legs continue to feel like blocks of wood below the knee and my hands experience much increased sensitivity and pain. This is the reason I am doing less computer work. Yet, I still want to exalt Jesus by praying for and encouraging others.

–Pray for us to experience God’s provision for our daily bread. As you can relate to, inflation has hit us hard with our fixed income which is actually decreasing because I am preaching less.

That being said, even with my feeble fingers and lack of technical skills, I am going to start selling books on Amazon. The only thing I have of value is my library. I sold some books in previous years, but I need to sell the remainder now. If you are interested in finding Jesus in the Scriptures and serving Him in your daily living, I have resources for you! I will have more details when I figure it all out. Message me if you are interested. I am going to start with the sale of my commentaries and other study aides.

How can I pray for you? Please let me know. We love and appreciate you!

Brian Heinen

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

bheinen.com  brheinen1@gmail.com

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – February 2022

…and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5 ESV)

Friends, we hope you understand this important truth – if you belong to Jesus, His Spirit pours God’s love into our hearts! In this season of celebrating love, may His love fill your hearts. May His love overflow from your hearts so that it spills out on others. May His love cast out all your fear. May His love make you feel secure as you rest in His everlasting arms.

I apologize for not publishing a January newsletter. I struggle with fatigue and keyboarding is very difficult as my hands become less functional. For those of you new to our newsletter, let me explain a little of my own experience. I am diagnosed with severe axonopathic polyneuropathy.  My feet have no feeling left, and my ankles and lower legs are severely numb.  I am unable to drive. My hands have constant pain and numbness which greatly impact my fine motor skills.  Yet, through this trial God has proven Himself faithful time and time again.

I probably will not write monthly updates anymore, but will try to touch base with those we love when I am able. The wonderful pastor now serving at our church is preaching regularly, enabling me to only preach twice a month. This year, I will be focusing on the beautiful supremacy of Jesus Christ as is seen in the book of Hebrews. Speaking of our church, one of the pillars of the church passed into the arms of Jesus this past month. Please pray for us, as our small congregation will dearly miss her.

Would you also pray for our families? We have loved ones on my side and Leah’s side of the family who are enduring overwhelming physical challenges right now. Please pray!

Our kids (and their spouses) are doing well, even though COVID has remained a great challenge. Please pray for them to grow daily in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ and to love and serve Him faithfully.

Leah has had some terrific doctor visits lately. Her kidneys are not getting worse, and may even be improving slightly, even after we were told her kidney failure was permanent and irreversible. Her heart and blood pressure are doing well. Her pain and stomach trouble continues, but she manages them with grace. Please pray for her to experience a new level of divine health from Jesus.

Leah and I are taking time to listen to some old CDs and cassettes. We are enjoying songs that were such an important part of our faith journey over the years. Many times I am brought to tears as we listen to incredible lyrics and as we remember all that God has brought us through. Our family is also slowly working our way through the terrific book by Dane Ortlund, Gentle and Lowly. I encourage you to read it. We are learning so much about the heart of our Savior. Please pray for the members of the three churches that we gave multiple copies of the books to, that they would be blessed as much as we are being blessed.

Also pray for our neighbors. I pray for 127 surrounding households (5 per day). So many of them are new to the neighborhood. We were able to give Christmas cards and small gifts to our 60 closest neighborhood families. Pray for us to truly bless them as we share the love and truth of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In am so burdened for so many of you! I hear some of your stories of heartache and trial. I am praying for you. How can I pray for you? Please let me know.

Brian Heinen

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

bheinen.com  brheinen1@gmail.com

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – December 2021

Friends and family,

Merry Christmas! During this season of celebrating the birth of our Savior we want you to know we thank Him often that He has blessed us with friends like you. May His presence and peace be very real to this Christmas and in the New Year. We love you and appreciate you!

Here are some words from our beautiful daughters:

Rebekah and Tim

Tim and I have been loving this advent season as we get to focus on Jesus coming to earth as a baby to save us! Tim recently got a promotion at work and he has a lot of extra responsibility, but he continues to do it for Jesus and to share the Gospel with those around him. I recently planned a multi-cultural party for my homeless clients where I was able to incorporate the real meaning of Christmas and even Scripture into the decor! We wish everyone a merry Christmas and pray you get to experience the love of Jesus in a new way this season! ❤️

**Enjoy this picture of Tim and Rebekah at Tim’s work Christmas party. They are happy because they love each other and also won an espresso machine.

Victoria and Noah

Hello from the Greenawalts! We hope you are having a year filled with God’s love and peace. Noah is still enjoying his position as senior administrative IT technician at his work! I am still teaching K-12 music at my school, and have become general manager of the music school/store in town. We hope that this next year is great for you, and will continue to pray the Lord’s blessings over you. God Bless!!

Maria (here with her friend Elizabeth)

I just recently finished this past semester of school and I kept up my 4.0 GPA. I only have 2 semesters left, so I will be graduating December of 2022. Other than school, I don’t have much going on, which is a good thing because that means I have plenty of time to relax or hang out with friends 🙂.

What a blessing our daughters are to us. And we are so thankful for sons-in-law who love our girls.

We hope you had an advent season full of the remembrance of our Lord’s first coming that helped you anxiously await His return. We have enjoyed celebrating with the traditional advent themes:

  1. Hope (Prophecy Candle). Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” John 1:45
  2. Peace (Bethlehem Candle). But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. Micah 5:2. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
  3. Joy (Shepherd Candle). And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. Luke 2:20. And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. Isaiah 35:10
  4. Love (Angel Candle). And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:13–14. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
  5. Faith (Christ Candle). The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8–10

Advent 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!

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!

Please continue to pray for us that in all things Jesus would be exalted. Pray for health and contentment. Pray for us to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus daily. And pray for us that we would love God and our neighbor well, as we are filled by the Holy Spirit.

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

Merry Christmas!!!

Brian Heinen

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

bheinen.com  brheinen1@gmail.com

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – November 2021

Dear friends, how thankful we are for you. In this season of giving thanks, when we think of you, we thank God for you!

Lately, I have been doing a lot of reading in the areas of counseling, anxiety, depression, and trauma. One common factor in all of my study has been the importance of being thankful for good mental health. This certainly fits with the teaching of Scripture.

The Bible is filled with the command to give thanks to God. Here are a few examples:

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” (Heb. 12:28).

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” (Col. 3:15).

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Col. 4:2).

“Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done” (1 Chron. 16:8).

“When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the LORD above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, ‘He is good; His love endures forever’” (2 Chron. 7:3).

“In that day you will say: ‘Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done, and proclaim that His name is exalted’” (Isa. 12:4).

Scripture teaches that one of the key elements in man’s rebellion against God is ingratitude. Paul wrote, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Rom. 1:21). Not being thankful to our God who is the source of all good and all blessing leads to rebellion against His rule and reign in our lives.

Every good and perfect gift come from Him! Every spiritual blessing is found in Christ! He deserves our gratitude and our praise. And once again, we thank Him for you!

And I am incredibly thankful for my dear wife of 35 years (on November 15th)! We had a nice time reminiscing about all God has blessed us with over the years. Leah is such a gift to me! I thank God for her and her love. I know I share the same pictures of our beginning as a couple, but I don’t have many pictures, so here they are again! Notice how beautiful my bride was then. She is even more beautiful today.

I am also thankful for the wonderful congregation of the Appleton Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Five years ago this January, I drove out to share God’s Word with a congregation I had never met. They instantly became dear friends and I have preached there ever since. Because of my health and my inability to drive, I have been limited in just how much I could serve this great group of Christ-followers. My prayer from day one has been that God would send His called one who would not just be able to preach, but who could shepherd the community as well as the congregation. God has answered that prayer by sending a wonderful local pastoral couple who have worshipped with ACPC for almost a year. They are gifted and have a deep commitment to the church family and to Appleton. They will be taking over as lead shepherds at the start of 2022. I will assist in pulpit supply a few times a month, but this dear couple will now take the reigns. I am thankful to God for them!

Here’s how you can pray for us.

  1. Several family members are sick with COVID. Please pray to our loving Great Physician on their behalf.
  2. Please pray for the transition at the church, that God would be glorified!
  3. Please pray for our family to represent Jesus well as we interact with our neighbors, especially through this holiday season. We have plans to show our neighbors we love and appreciate them. May Jesus be exalted!
  4. Please pray for our family, as we will be separated this Christmas.
  5. Please pray for God’s provision, as we will start 2022 with less income and greater expenditures. Part of this comes from my switch from Medicaid to Medicare. I also will be making less as I am preaching less. Combined with rising inflation, we need desperately need God’s intervention. Pray that we will never doubt His faithfulness.

Please pray for us. And let us know how to pray for you. We so appreciate you!

Brian Heinen

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

bheinen.com   brheinen1@gmail.com

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – October 2021

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-6

Family and friends, I begin this newsletter with a passage I often quote. I do so because this is Pastor Appreciation month. I want to make public that I have great respect and admiration for the many I know who are faithful servants of Jesus Christ. You serve selflessly and courageously. I want to say “thank you” to those who represent Jesus so well by lovingly serving not only those in their local church family, but also those in their neighborhoods and communities. You are heroes! Some of you humbly serve in very public ministries in larger congregations. Some of you faithfully serve in relative anonymity in smaller settings. As Paul stated, I am so thankful for you! I pray for you with joy! I partner with you as we share the common task of making Christ known! I so love and appreciate you because of what you do in our Great Savior’s Name!

My heart also is deeply burdened for the growing number I know who have shepherds’ hearts who for various reasons are no longer in the ministry positions they once held. This month is hard for you. Many of you did not receive much appreciation as you lovingly shepherded a people who maybe didn’t even want you around. You were a threat to someone’s power, but now that you are removed, they remain in power and you stand on the sidelines. You left with a damaged heart but are more concerned for your family members who have deeper wounds than you. I am praying for you today. I love you and appreciate you and am here for you if you ever want to talk.

I praise the Lord for His faithful love to my family. My girls and their families are all doing well. Maria takes an important test this weekend that is necessary for her to begin her student teaching. She is so excited! God is good. I am so thankful for my girls and their families.

Leah continues to be a model of faithfulness as she exhibits for our family what a godly woman looks like. Her prayer life is amazing! While she often has trouble sleeping at night, she spends her restless evenings lifting you before God’s throne of grace. I am so thankful for her.

I continue to preach on Sundays to a wonderfully receptive congregation. I am excited about possible ways to reach out to my neighborhood as the holidays approach. I pray often for the needs of my friends and family. I am burdened by the trials and tribulations we see in this world, but am so thankful for our Sovereign Lord who remains in complete control. I also thank God that while my disability continues to slowly progress, the work of healing and sanctification that is taking place in my life greatly offsets any physical decline. Maria chauffeurs me to our local college and high school football games as she is able. I still love sports and have been spoiled with the success of the Bucks, Brewers, and Packers.

I close with a powerful word from the passage above: being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. This is true for you. You may be active in a current ministry. You may be one who no longer carries a title. But a truth I rest upon for my family and I is also true for you. God begins the work in us. He continues that work until completion. God is still working in all of you to fulfill His plans and His purposes. For that I am thankful.

If you get a chance, send me an email letting me know you read these updates. Sometimes I wonder if I should continue to write them as I don’t know if anyone actually reads these words.

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

Brian Heinen

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

bheinen.com   brheinen1@gmail.com

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – September 2021

Friends, I just have a short update for you this month. I will not give you info about our wonderful girls, other than asking you to pray for Rebekah, who works to get homeless people into housing in New Jersey. She and Tim are safe after severe weather hit their area, but she is very concerned about her clients. Please pray!

I took a good chunk of August away from social media. When I heard reports of others doing this, I was blessed to hear of the refreshment of their souls that they experienced. My time off was not like that. COVID resurgence. Haiti. Afghanistan. Ida. Fires and floods in our nation and violence and persecution around the world. These things gripped my heart and burdened my soul. It seemed as if I was entering a deep season of intense intercession and spiritual warfare. Other health and financial issues added to the weight. I focused on the holiness of God during this time, and was overwhelmed by the idea of His sovereignty. Nothing in this world overwhelms Him. I want to stay closely connected to Him through these incredibly difficult days.

Let me just leave you with a few verses I posted in recent prayer updates:

Come 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)

I trust this divine invitation will remind you of the love Jesus has for you and His desire for you to not be overwhelmed by all you face today. These words are the basis of Dane Ortlund’s masterful Gentle and Lowly, a book that we were able to get into the hands of the families of three churches in our area, due to the generosity of the publisher. I encourage you to get a copy.

Please pray for us. And let us know how to pray for you. We so appreciate you!

Brian Heinen

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

bheinen.com   brheinen1@gmail.com

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – August 2021

Friends and family,

How we appreciate you and hope you had a terrific summer! Oconto High School Class of 1981, I am so sorry I was not able to see you at our reunion. I am sure it was wonderful catching up. I hope to see you at the 50th!

We celebrated Maria’s 20th birthday on August 2nd. I don’t think she realizes what a blessing she is to Leah and myself. She is a great friend and always brings such joy to our lives. Here are a few pics I borrowed from Rebekah, one recent and one from a few years ago. Wish her a belated Happy Birthday if you get a chance.

For over four years, I have done weekly pulpit supply for the incredible congregation at the Appleton Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Other than taking a few weeks off due to COVID, I don’t think I missed more than a week or two over the years. I am taking the next three weeks off. A gifted gentleman from the church will be sharing God’s Word during this time. I am also taking some time off of social media. If I miss wishing you a “Happy Birthday” on Facebook, I apologize. I am taking some time to simply seek Jesus. I can’t wait!

It is so easy to slip into the “I must make a difference” trap. Since I was a teen, I always wanted to make a difference for Jesus. I went to Last Days Ministries because I thought they were making a difference. I then received my ministry training at college thinking I would make a difference by becoming a missionary. When Leah and couldn’t go overseas due to health reasons, I became a pastor hoping to make a difference in the lives of my church family and community. In the process, it was always easy to make “making a difference” a higher priority than loving Jesus Christ and living simply to give Him glory. There is nothing wrong with “making a difference,” as long as it remains a byproduct of our pure devotion to Jesus. It is just too easy to have the priorities get mixed up.

To be honest, looking back over the years I don’t think I really made much of a difference in our world, in my denominational family, in my communities, or even in my local churches. Now that I am homebound, I have no real opportunities to make a difference, other than preaching weekly to one wonderful but small congregation. Yet, I can still love Jesus. I can still talk to Him and listen to Him. I can still intercede about the real important matters that are near to His heart. And in the process, I can do what really matters most.

As I was praying for my high school friends, I thought of the verses I used as the basis of my graduation speech four decades ago:

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12–14 ESV)

May we all press on toward that same goal together!

Please pray for us!

–Leah and I both need God’s strength for our daily lives. Please pray for Leah’s health, especially her constant stomach pain she experiences in large part to the medication she takes.

–I need to lose weight to ease the burden on my weary body. It is very difficult not being able to exercise, except while sitting in a chair. Fatigue is always a problem.

–Since we are on Medicaid, our insurance coverage seems to be constantly changing. This complicates our medical care and makes it difficult financially. I will be placed on Medicare in the next few months. Please pray for God’s provision.

–Please pray for our many friends and family who are very sick with COVID. Arkansas has been hard hit with this most recent wave. Even children are getting quite sick.

–Please pray for us as we have the privilege of praying for others. Pray we will be faithful.

How can we pray for you? Please let us know. We so appreciate you!

Brian Heinen

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

bheinen.com   brheinen1@gmail.com

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – July 2021

We hope you had a terrific Independence Day celebration surrounded by family and friends. Leah and I were so blessed to have Rebekah and Tim here from New Jersey. Victoria and Noah were able to join us, as did Maria and her college roommate. Our church hosted an ice cream social on the 3rd, and the 4th was filled with grilling and fireworks. Leah and I have not gotten out much, but did the best we could to enjoy our time with family. Both Leah and I were able to go to the local fireworks show, which is a big deal for us.

While we are thankful for the freedoms we have in our land, we are even more thankful for the freedoms we have in Jesus Christ. He has been so good to us. In recent days, we have faced some challenging physical obstacles, but He has been faithful! We are blessed to have teams of doctors who truly listen and try to work together to help us. Of course, we rejoice that all this happens under the loving care of our Sovereign Great Physician.

After a difficult season of COVID, our church participated in the Appleton Homecoming, which included softball games, live music, food, a cake walk, a parade, our Sunday morning service (where 70 people filled our tiny sanctuary), and the Appleton Revival, which took place in the newly refurbished community building. While we don’t live in Appleton, the wonderful people of this small mountain hamlet always make us feel a part. I don’t have the energy or the health to actively be a shepherd in the community, but I am thankful for all that God is doing among a special group of people. Maria graciously drives me to Appleton on Sunday mornings so I can preach.

I also was able to participate virtually in the Christian and Missionary Alliance Council. The Alliance has been my family for many years, and I rejoice in all that God is doing through this Christ-centered, Acts 1:8 family. While I am no longer an active part of the Alliance, I pray continually for my brothers and sisters who are being used in such great ways for God’s glory.

There is so much that God is teaching us about Himself in this season of our lives. Above all else, He is shattering misconceptions about Himself that American Christianity has tried to get us to embrace. He is so much greater than our western version of Him portrays! The more we break free from the cultural lies that surround us, the more we see the Biblical Christ. This part of our journey has resulted in greater joy, freedom, and peace for us as we focus on Christ without distraction.

We are learning to value the things that are really important. Two small lessons illustrate this. Our hot water heater, along with our main water valve, both went out, leaving us without water for a week. We also had a hidden but major oil leak in our car that fried our alternator and a large part of our electrical system. This left us without a car for over a week. Not having these things helped us see what is really essential to our lives and helped us to pray for those around the world who don’t enjoy the many things we call necessities. It has been a joy to pray for the wounded, lost, and lonely. There is so much heartache in our world, but our God and His grace are so much greater than our pain and suffering.

How can we pray for you? Please let us know. We so appreciate you!

Brian Heinen

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

bheinen.com   brheinen1@gmail.com

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – April/May/June 2021

Friends, I must apologize for my delay in sending out an update. Fatigue and fingers that don’t want to work keep me from spending time at the computer keyboard.

Because of my delay, I am late in wishing my mother, stepmother, and the mother of my children a Happy Mother’s Day. They are all worthy of honor! Leah also had a birthday, as do my stepfather and father.

Let me just say publicly that Leah is an an incredible blessing to myself and my daughters! She is a woman of deep faith and deep love. I honor her. Please continue to pray for her health and strength. She remains faithful through it all.

We will have the family together in late June. Rebekah, and a few days later her husband, Tim, are coming to visit us in Arkansas. We can’t wait! Victoria and her husband, Noah, are celebrating their first wedding anniversary with a quick trip to Branson. Victoria is finishing up her first schoolyear. She recently did a very cute virtual play with her elementary kids. Maria is very happy that her semester is over. She is a gifted student who works very hard. This past semester is considered the most difficult of her major, and she did great, even with the added challenges of COVID.

I am struggling greatly with fatigue. I am sure some of this is related to medication, but I speculate that some of it is related to the constant stimulation of my nerves. It is getting harder to use my hands. I am increasingly avoiding social media and cable news and am spending more time meditating on God’s Word. I cannot handle the constant stimulation of negativity and division that sometimes floods my eyes and ears. I am also enjoying reading more, as my tired eyes allow. I need to give you a list of what I have been reading in a future update. Let me say, while sickness is an enemy in so many ways, our Sovereign Lord has allowed me to experience a great season of freedom and peace through His indwelling presence as a result of going through the trials I face daily. He is so good!

I am looking forward to participating in the Christian and Missionary Alliance Council as a virtual delegate. The Appleton Cumberland Presbyterian Church family, who graciously allow Maria and I to worship with them, have their annual homecoming in the next few weeks. They have a lot to celebrate, being established as a congregation in 1856. Following this will be the annual Appleton Revival. I am scheduled to preach one night of the four. Please pray for these important events, that God will be glorified and that I will have the strength to participate.

I apologize for the lack of pictures and Scripture. Here is a song to enjoy from Alliance Worship. Worship Jesus with me today!

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 

bheinen.com   brheinen1@gmail.com

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – March 2021

Friends, as we approach Easter, may God fill your hearts with the wonder of Christ’s atoning death and victorious resurrection. May that wonder turn to a lifestyle of worship that honors God before all people.

Our family continues to be amazed at the faithful love of our Creator. Maria works hard at school and is an exceptional student at Arkansas Tech University. Victoria and her hubby, Noah, are celebrating married life together as Noah enjoys his tech job at a large Little Rock law firm and Victoria continues to try to find her footing as a first year music/choir teacher during a season of COVID. Rebekah and her husband Tim continue to impact people for Jesus in New Jersey, Tim as an addiction counselor and Rebekah as a social worker serving the homeless. Here is a picture from Rebekah’s team:

Leah and I continue to face some health challenges, but we both are so thankful for God’s sustaining grace and for the mercy He shows us, often through His people.

I admit to being encouraged greatly when I spend time with my Savior and burdened to the point of breathlessness when I view social media and television. I expect people who don’t know Christ to be confused, divided, and angry, but I am disheartened when I see the so-called Body of Christ act in even more extreme ways. When I am overwhelmed, I rant to Leah for a time and then run to God’s Word to refresh my soul.

With my human eyes, I do not see anything in western Christendom to give me hope. As I think ahead, humanly-speaking, I cannot see real solutions regarding racial division, economic disparity, the divide between men and women, and the number of young people turning from orthodoxy to a more progressive faith. I see many giving loud opinions but few able to listen to the opinions of others. I see people base their values and ideas on feelings, human traditions, cultural norms, opinion polls – everything except the authoritative Word of God. People on all sides of all the issues act like Jesus is on their side. Then I read this familiar passage:

When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us, or for our adversaries?” And he said, “No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, “What does my lord say to his servant?” And the commander of the LORD’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. (Joshua 5:13–15 ESV)

I will seek not to make Jesus a member of my tribe, whatever that tribe may be. I choose to be part of Team Jesus. Let me give you a simple reminder – Jesus is NOT on your side. Are you on His?

When I remove my gaze from the problems of this world and again fix my eyes on Jesus, I fall on my face before Him in worship. I remove my shoes covered by the dust of this world because the ground where I meet Him is holy. I am filled with the wonder that even if all Christendom fails, the gates of hades will not prevail against His Church. And I praise the Sovereign One who’s plans and purposes will never be thwarted by all the craziness of this world.

–Praise God with us for His grace extended to our family. Leah and I remain COVID-free!

–The invitation to the online Christianity Explored class has not received much interest. Please pray that we will have wisdom to know if we should use this tool to introduce friends to the great news of who Jesus is, why He came, and how we can respond to Him. Email me if you have interest and would like to join us for this 7-week experience.

–With the nicer weather, I am enjoying opportunities to talk to my neighbors as I sit on my porch and pray. Please pray for opportunities to specifically pray for them, to care for them with Christ’s love in practical ways, and open doors to share the life-transforming gospel of Jesus with them.

–The online trauma healing group is also still in the waiting phase. Please pray we will have wisdom to know if this is the right time to start. Message me if you would like to participate in this group to help those wounded by trauma. Psalm 147:3 – He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 34:18 – The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

–I am hosting a prayer conference call Wednesday nights at 7 PM Central. If you would like to pray using Scripture as our guide, join us. We will try to be done close to 7:30. The prayer conference call will be held on Wednesday nights at 7:00 PM Central. 1) To get to the call, dial 1-717-275-8940. 2) Enter the access code when you are instructed, 7003453#. 3) Please mute yourself by pressing *6 if you want to just listen or if you have background noise from where you are calling. To unmute yourself in order to pray out loud, hit *6. When you are finished, please mute yourself once again by hitting *6. Please join us!

The Christian and Missionary Alliance shared a video I think will encourage you. Enjoy these wise words from A.W. Tozer:

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 

bheinen.com   brheinen1@gmail.com

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – February 2021

The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin… .” (Exodus 34:6–7 ESV)

Dear friends, I thought I would start with a powerful reminder of the steadfast love God has for His people. The video highlights part of this most-often quoted passage. The question for us is, “Are you part of His covenant people experiencing His love?”

Our family has been so blessed by our Lord, often through His people.

–Leah, Maria, and I have eluded the virus. Family members who were quite sick are recovering. God loves us so!

–Our girls are all doing well, even with the unique challenges they face due to COVID. God loves us so!

–We are hanging on financially, even though we face some big obstacles as a result of not working for over a year-and-a-half. We were able to satisfy some creditors due to the unexpected generosity of God’s people. God loves us so!

–Even in the midst of a pandemic, we continue to enjoy getting to know our neighbors, welcoming new friends to the neighborhood, and enjoying deepening friendships with others. Our neighborhood Facebook page is up and running and I am blessed to pray for 83 neighboring households, five per day. God loves us so!

–An online Christianity Explored class is in the planning stages to introduce friends to the great news of who Jesus is, why He came, and how we can respond to Him. Email me if you would like to join us for this 7-week experience. God loves us so!

–An online trauma healing group is also being started. One church leader recently said that the largest mission group to reach right now is those who have suffered traumatic experiences. Message me if you would like to participate in this group to help those wounded by trauma. God loves us so!

Psalm 147:3 – He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 34:18 – The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

–God continually reminds us that He welcomes us into His presence so we can experience His love. God loves us so!

–Maria and I enjoy fellowshipping with the wonderful people of the Appleton Cumberland Presbyterian Church. This historic church continues to minister even while the virus rages. God loves us so!

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 

bheinen.com   brheinen1@gmail.com

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – January 2021

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 

bheinen.com  brheinen1@gmail.com

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. 

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – December 2020

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 

bheinen.com  brheinen1@gmail.com

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – November 2020

Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!
Seek the LORD and his strength;
seek his presence continually!
(Psalm 105:1–4 ESV)

Even in the midst of our season of COVID, election chaos, and financial struggle, I pray you have a thankful heart that recognizes God’s power and His loving care for you. As the Psalmist says, may you call upon His name and seek Him continually through this challenging time. As the Scriptures remind us, when we seek Him, we WILL find Him, if we seek Him with all of our hearts!

Our little family has much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving season. We are extremely thankful this day after Veteran’s Day for all who have served our country in the armed forces. Thank you!

Thank you for your service!

Our girls are doing great. Maria continues to manage online classes and on-campus classes. She officially moved into the next phase of her elementary education training. She is happy to be our chauffer, which we appreciate!

Victoria and Noah are enjoying married life. Victoria is juggling classes at the elementary, middle and high schools. Because of COVID, the middle school went all virtual for a few weeks. Now the high school is doing the same. It looks like her Christmas concerts will be cancelled. Her students did great in their All-region contest.

Rebekah is applying for social work jobs, now that New Jersey finally approved her state license. She and Tim enjoy their home church, as well as their visits to Tim’s home church as he preaches every other week. Rebekah sings quite often. Their two cats keep them busy.

Leah continues her ministry of intercession for many of you. We celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary this week. How wonderful it is to keep growing more in love as the years pass. Here is a wedding picture I know you have seen before. It is the only one on my computer, so enjoy!

Happy Anniversary, Sweetie!

I turned 58 this week. I am another year older, but I don’t know if I am another year wiser. Rebekah called from New Jersey, Victoria had her class sing for me, and Maria bought me a Packer facemask.

I know many of you are facing troubling circumstances in your lives. If I can pray for any of you, please contact me. If any of you are struggling with the heartbreak of this season, please read my recent blogpost, I had a dream… . I invite you to participate in an online support group that is detailed in the blogpost.

In this season where you wonder where God may be, I invite you to read Scripture with me online. I always find Him best in the pages of His Word. If you want to explore and discuss God’s Word with me, please contact me.

We are in the midst of trying to figure out what we can do for Christmas at our wonderful church and in our neighborhood. Like your Thanksgiving, ours will probably be a bit low key this year. Even so, Happy Thanksgiving!

Again, how can I pray for you? Please let me know.

Brian Heinen

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

bheinen.com  brheinen1@gmail.com


I had a dream…

Unlike MLK, these words do not describe my inspiring aspirations for the future. They describe a recent dream I had while I slept. It is a very rare occurrence for me to remember a dream. I don’t believe this was a prophetic dream, nor do I believe it was dream caused by too much pizza the night before. It simply was something that happened that made me think about my life.

In my dream I was the busy pastor of a thriving, vibrant church. I was blessed to partner with incredible local ministry colleagues and a wonderful denominati0nal family. We were active sharing the love and truth of Jesus Christ with a lost and dying world and the supernatural fruit of repentance resulted. Occasionally I had the privilege to travel the world to encourage international workers as they faithfully served. It was a wonderful dream.

Then I woke up. None of those things were true in real life. I love the tiny, mountain church family I am blessed to share God’s Word with on Sundays, but due to physical limitations I am not able to do the work of a shepherd among them. As an interim, I have no authority to lead. Being unable to drive, I cannot be a presence in a community that is 40 minutes from my house. I seem to struggle to be a light here in my own neighborhood. I pray for my past ministry partners, but often feel forgotten and even sometimes ignored by those busy with their own ministry responsibilities. I will never travel the world to cheer on my missionary friends and see the pioneering work of God firsthand. While my wife and I once prepared to be missionaries, we are now limited to praying that others will be called to the peoples we love.

I wonder if my almost 60 years have been wasted as I sometimes served in congregations that really didn’t want me but felt forced to hire a credentialed worker because of denominational regulations. Did my life bear any fruit that pleased my Savior? I can honestly say that everything I did in my decades of imperfect ministry was done with a heart desiring that God would be glorified. As I look back, I doubt if I made much of an impact for Him and the furtherance of His Kingdom.

Instead, as I look back I fear that the deep wounds that my family experienced through years of being the subjects of scrutiny, gossip, slander, and suspicion were not worth it. Did my desire to fulfill a mostly fruitless ministry-calling ruin the lives of those I love most? I hate to think some of this might be true, but I wonder.

I write these words not to elicit sympathy. I write these words to express my grief. Grief is what we experience when we mourn the loss of something. For me it was the loss of the American-ministry dream. I had hoped that the Disney-inspired “just believe and work hard and your dream will be fulfilled” ministry-mantra would happen to me. I mourn its loss. I mourn what it has done to my family.

So many are grieving today. COVID has destroyed precious lives and separated families. Jobs and financial security have been lost. Some have been forced to give up certain freedoms they enjoy, at least temporarily. Our divisive political climate seems to be destroying the country we love. Social media contributes to the destruction of long-held relationships. Churches are being split over things that don’t really matter. So many have lost so much! And just like the families who due to COVID were unable to hold funeral services to say good-bye to family members, multitudes of people are now frozen in time and unable to deal with the losses of life.

To truly heal and move on, we must take the time and energy to journey through several stages. After the crisis of loss, we often numbly deny what we have experienced. Sometimes we erupt in anger or tears. We face questions we cannot answer, such as “If only I had done this, would they have died?”, or “Why did this happen to me?”. Sadness, hopelessness, loneliness, numbness, and feelings of guilt and blame are all part of our journey back to some sense of “normalcy.” Quite often we go back and visit these various emotions and experiences time and time again. Some never make it very far in their journey back to a life of renewed hope and healing.

I often hear from my Christian friends that all I have to do is “believe the promises of God” and try really hard not to feel bad or sad and my grief would go away. But as I explore Holy Scripture, I don’t see that being true. Jesus Himself cried out, “My God, my God, why did you abandon me?” (Mt. 27:46). Jesus wept at the tomb of His friend, Lazarus (Jn. 11:33-38). The psalmists acknowledged their losses and wept (Ps. 6:6, 39:12, 42:3). So did the prophets (Is. 22:4, Jr. 9:1). Ecclesiastes reminds us there is a time to weep (3:4). We can never weep over loss if we never acknowledge our loss. How wonderful to think that God doesn’t get angry at us when we grieve. Instead, He sees our tears. Those tears are precious to Him (Is. 38:3-5)!

I wonder if the reason I lived a life with frequent loss is so that I can help others right now who are grieving. I pray I won’t be like Job’s friends who after sitting with Job in silence for a week, began a diatribe pointing out Job’s lack of faith and blaming him for his suffering. Rather than comforting their friend, they increased his suffering.

Instead, I want to truly listen to the broken-hearted. I want to pray for them. I want to allow them to express their emotions and ask their tough questions. I want to help practically with things that the grieving person might not be able to do right now. I want to remove some of their responsibilities that are weighing on their tired hearts. I want them to understand it is normal to grieve. I want to encourage them with the healing balm of God’s Word. And I want to help them lament.

In Psalm 13:1, David cries out, “How much longer will you forget me. Lord? Forever?” Yet, a few verses later David proclaims, “I rely on your constant love; I will be glad because you will rescue me. I will sing to you, O Lord, because you have been good to me.” Often we can’t move on to that place of trust and worship until we truly acknowledge our pain and loss. So many of the Psalms include a lament, where people pour out their complaints to God. Perhaps they are trying to persuade Him to act. Oftentimes they end up remembering God’s faithfulness in the past that enables them to trust Him in the present. They know that God is the One to run to when loss comes. They know God is their help, even if they don’t see it right now. It is an honest cry that allows one to trust. The problems are not often solved right away, but hope is renewed through lament that God will act in His way and in His time.

Have you experienced life-crushing loss recently? If you need someone to listen, contact me. If you would like to be part of an online healing group where you can share your brokenness in a safe atmosphere where people will love and pray for you, message me and we will start one up. I can truly say that while I sometimes go back and visit the unpleasant places of my grief journey, I am now experiencing God’s presence and peace in ways I never would have if I had not experienced my loss. He is faithful. And I want to introduce you to Him.

[Inspired by Lesson 3, “What Happens When Someone Is Grieving,” in Healing the Wounds of Trauma (American Bible Society, 2014).]

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – October 2020

The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. (Nahum 1:7)

Friends, I trust that you are experiencing the grace of God in great measure as you seek Him in these strange but crucial days. I apologize for not writing a September newsletter. The month flew by before I could sit down at my computer.

I won’t give you an update on our girls, but will give you links to their Facebook pages if you want to follow their busy lives: Rebekah Hope Thorpe; Victoria Grace Greenawalt; Maria Faith Heinen – We are so proud of them!

Please pray for Leah. She is an amazing wife and mother, but is so limited by the physical and emotional challenges she faces. She never complains about her homebound condition. Yet, I would love for her to have the ability to do more of what she would like to do. I asked her what she wanted to share in this newsletter and she simply stated, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

I am very thankful that I was approved for disability and received my first monthly check for $1709 in September. The judge ruled in my favor without the need for a hearing after reviewing my case file. This is a huge relief! Please pray Leah and I will be good stewards and will survive on this amount and that we will be able to take care of past debt that hangs over our heads.

Last month, I had my appointment with a neurologist from the University of Arkansas Medical School concerning my physical condition. I followed this up with another round of tests. I did not yet hear of any results. I waited over a year for this appointment. God has answered your prayers.

While we are extremely blessed by these developments, Leah and I have been overwhelmed by the trials of life we are all facing right now. I am so burdened by the condition of our nation and by the inability of western cultural Christianity to make any impact for the sake of Jesus’ kingdom. I am praying for the true Church to truly be the Church as we experience a fresh vision of Jesus Christ. He is our only hope! Remember these words: “Come 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.”

I continue to pray as to how our family can shine the light of Christ in our neighborhood. I pray for 80 surrounding households regularly (5 per day). I started a neighborhood Facebook page to connect our neighbors better. I give out gospel resources as I can and I hope to soon start handing out fresh-basked cookies to let our neighbors know we love them.

After much prayer, I am attempting to start some online or neighborhood outreach opportunities:

  1. I was recently certified to facilitate trauma healing groups. I want to begin an online or neighborhood Healing for Wounded Hearts group. It is a holistic and Bible-based approach to helping people heal from wounded hearts that recognizes that trauma affects every part of a person: mind, body and spirit. The lessons use art, stories, activities and questions to help people engage deeply with themselves, with God, and with each other. At the heart of this process is the Bible, which tells us about the healing love of God. The group would meet weekly for six weeks. Let me know if you are interested.
  2. I would also like to start an online or neighborhood group for those wondering who Jesus is and what true Christianity looks like. Christianity Explored will be a seven-week study through the gospel of Mark. It will focus on who Jesus is, why He came to earth, and what that means for us. If you have question about Jesus and would like to participate, please let me know.
  3. If those opportunities don’t appeal to you, perhaps you would be interested in meeting with me online for a time of one-to-one Bible reading. I would love to read a short passage with you and explore our questions together.
  4. I am starting a weekly prayer gathering through a telephone conference call. Many people don’t have the ability to go to church for a prayer meeting or meet with friends for prayer. How crucial it is during these challenging times to seek Jesus together. More details to come.
  5. I would love to offer my virtual services as a Biblical counselor. While I am not a medical professional nor a trained therapist, I love to listen and see how the Bible speaks to us as to how Jesus can impact our lives and bring renewed hope. Let me know if you need someone to listen.
  6. Above all else, I can pray. How can I pray for you? Please let me know.

Rev. Brian Heinen

802 E 23rd Street Russellville, AR 72802

(479) 886-0765 

bheinen.com 

brheinen1@gmail.com



HEINEN HAPPENINGS – August 2020

Friends, in the midst of the trials of COVID, racial division, economic upheaval, and political unrest, may I take a moment to praise our loving Savior who has defeated all our enemies, including death itself. He is worthy to be praised!

Our family, like yours, is trying to adjust to our always changing circumstances. Maria will be living at home for her next year at Arkansas Tech University. With all the restrictions due to COVID, ATU will not offer much in terms of campus life this year. The possibility that the students may have to move off-campus is always looming. It will be cheaper for her to stay home and drive the 15 minutes to class. It will be nice for her mother and myself to have her around. She is an incredible help to us and is our main source of transportation. She celebrated a quiet birthday on August 2nd.

Victoria and Noah are enjoying married life. Victoria began her teaching career last week. She is in the process of meeting her coworkers in the Atkins School System. Somehow she needs to learn how to teach music and choir to students of all ages when the state is recommending that students only sing outside. After work, Noah has been working hard making improvements to their home. I am sure their landlord is very thankful.

Bekah and Tim are doing great adjusting to being newly married. She is praying that the New Jersey social work board will vote to give her a state license at their next meeting. The board has not met since February. When I asked Rebekah to send me a picture, she sent me one of their cat on a leash. I don’t know why they would put a cat on a leash. Tim continues to enjoy his job and recently picked Reggie White to be on one of his Madden teams. There is hope for that Giants fan yet. She celebrated her birthday in July.

Leah and I continue to praise God for His grace and provision. We both battle fatigue but at least we are tired together. I was scheduled to have a disability hearing the end of July, but the judge read my pre-hearing memorandum and ruled in my favor without a hearing. It will still take some time for him to write the brief, but at least we know the outcome. We don’t yet know the amount he decided upon. Please pray for God’s provision until we start receiving assistance. God is good!

We continue to pray for our neighborhood. Our next door neighbors just moved away after only being there 6 months. That is typical on our block. I put together a Facebook page for our neighborhood, but need to get the word out to the neighbors. It seems many desire to stay connected during this time when so many things isolate and divide us.

I continue to receive training, especially in the area of trauma healing. So many are deeply wounded right now. How wonderful it is to introduce brokenhearted people to our Great Physician who can heal even the most damaged souls.

I also am blessed to fill the pulpit for the fine people of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Appleton. I couldn’t ask for a kinder, more receptive audience. The main ministry for Leah and myself is one of intercession. How can we pray for you right now? Please contact me with your praises and requests. We love and appreciate you!

Brian Heinen 802 E 23rd St, Russellville, AR 72802 479-886-0765 bheinen.com brheinen1@gmail.com

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – July 2020

Friends, our update this month will be brief. We have no new weddings to report, although our newlywed daughters are both doing well and enjoying their new lives with their wonderful husbands. Maria is terrific as always and Leah remains faithful to her Lord even though she faces constant emotional and physical suffering.

For me, recent days have been overwhelmingly difficult. Physically, I continue to slowly decline. This past month has been a real challenge dealing with decreased use of my hands and exhaustion. I have to use my cane more often. Emotionally, I am consumed with feelings of failure. Today is the one-year anniversary of the last day I was able to work. I have had no earned income other than pulpit supply since. Financially, we are at disaster stage. I have a disability hearing scheduled for the end of this month, but even if I win results may still take time.

Thank you for your loving support and prayers during these past years. I do not have any answers as to why we seem to face constant trials and defeat, but I continue to humbly cry out to our merciful Savior. I constantly repent and ask the Holy Spirit to search my heart. Please forgive me if I have been a burden to you in any way. I still pray. Please let me know how I can pray for you.

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:17-18

Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. Job 1:21

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – June 2020

Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.

These words of praise from Revelation 7 echo the praise that is in my heart for the good and gracious One who sits on the throne of heaven. On May 31st, Victoria Grace Heinen became Victoria Grace Greenawalt as she and Noah made vows to each other before God and those present. Please pray for these kids to continue to grow in their love for Jesus as they also grow in their love for each other.  I am so proud of them for handling with patience and grace the trials of getting married in the midst of a pandemic.  This meant no bridal shower (and no presents!), few guests, and lots of uncertainty. I will share a few pictures here, but encourage you to look Victoria up on Facebook and ask her for more wonderful pics.

Rebekah and her new husband, Tim, were not able to travel to Arkansas from New Jersey because of COVID. She was heartbroken that she couldn’t come. We weren’t able to stream the service to her because the venue had no internet service, but she is enjoying every photo Sissy shares. Even with the pandemic, she and Tim are enjoying wonderful opportunities to reach people for Jesus. Rebekah has a wonderful online presence (check out her Facebook page, Rebekah Hope Thorpe, for encouragement and her own beautiful wedding shots) and hopes the office that issues social worker licenses reopens soon. Tim is finding opportunities to preach and has been recently hired to work at a drug and alcohol rehab center. We are so thankful for all God is doing in and through them!

Maria was the Master of Ceremonies for the 164th Homecoming of the Appleton Cumberland Presbyterian Church. The COVID-19 version of this anniversary was unique, but those who came enjoyed themselves. I praise God for those who came to know Jesus over the years because of the faithful witness of believers who called this church home. Maria did a terrific job. She continues to do childcare Monday-Friday. This past Sunday she took two cases of water to refresh those attending a local protest. She also held up a sign reminding those present of the words of Jesus, “Love one another, just as I have loved you.” (She refused to give me a picture of her at the event. I guess she is camera shy.)

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Leah really enjoyed participating in the wedding, although in doing so she wore herself out for the next several days. She is praying continually for family and friends in the Twin Cities with the little energy she does have. Rebekah and Victoria both had to copy Leah’s pose at our own wedding just a few years ago.

The incredible joys of these past few weeks have been sandwiched in between the harsh realities of dealing with a global pandemic and national racial unrest and division. My heart truly aches for those struggling with COVID and/or other physical ailments. I am filled with sadness as I see people lose loved ones to death. I am heart-stricken as I hear stories about friends losing jobs and experiencing financial hardship. Like you, I was shocked and then brought to tears viewing the video of an unarmed black man murdered by someone who took an oath to protect and serve. I am horrified as I listen to stories of racism that my friends of different skin tones deal with regularly. I still can’t process what I felt as I watched on television sections of a city I once called home burned to the ground. Time after time I could do nothing but run to my Heavenly Father in prayer. I felt guilty for having to turn off news reports and for taking breaks from social media. Did this mean I didn’t care enough? How can hope and joy fill the same space as heartache and despair?

Reading the text from Revelation quoted earlier gave me insight into that difficult question. The book of Revelation begins with a breathtaking vision of the glorified Jesus Christ as He now is reigning from His heavenly throne. The book ends with Jesus our King defeating even death itself and then bringing heaven and earth together as He rules over all creation. Those redeemed by His shed blood have the hope of joining with Him for all eternity. In between are chapters full of the rebellion of mankind directed toward His loving kingship and the resulting cycles of horrific judgment and wrath that follow. The message of Revelation is intended to be encouragement for followers of the King who see chaos and suffering all around them. The reminder is that Jesus is the victor who is now on His throne and will one day come to make all things right. No wonder this terrifying book is filled with praise to the One who fills our suffering with hope and joy:

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

“Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”

“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

And no wonder the final cry of those awaiting the fullness of His reign is Come, Lord Jesus!

Please pray that even with my physical limitations I will glorify my King. Pray that with my limited influence I will still make Him known. I am doing some counseling through the internet and am preparing to do some online small group sessions related to reconciliation, healing, and evangelism. I will give you details later. I struggle with overwhelming fatigue in addition to the limitations that severe neuropathy in my feet, legs, and hands bring. I don’t have my disability hearing until the end of July. Please pray for Leah and I to experience God’s provision until then. My heart is incredibly burdened for all that my friends are going through. Please message me as to how I can pray for you during these challenging times.

Enjoy a few more wedding pics!

Rev. Brian Heinen

802 E 23rd Street Russellville, AR 72802

(479) 886-0765 bheinen.com brheinen1@gmail.com

 

 

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – May 2020

The month of May is special in the Heinen household, because we celebrate both Leah’s birthday (May 18th) and Mother’s Day. We love to celebrate Leah! This is what I shared on Facebook:

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“Happy Birthday 🎂 to Leah Heinen, my wife who is as lovely now as when we first started to date what seems like just a few years ago. You are the most incredible mother and you are truly my best friend. I love you!”

Happy Birthday, and Happy Mother’s Day, sweetie!

I also wished my mother, Jane LeBreck, and my step-mother, Mary Heinen, a Happy Mother’s Day! They both were hospitalized during this COVID-19 season. They are now home after quite a scare, and are recovering. My dad, Robert, and step-father, Duane, also have been hospitalized in recent months. Please pray for my parents to experience the healing, sustaining grace of Jesus.

Maria is now done with a very successful school year at Arkansas Tech University and is busy doing childcare for the summer. Rebekah is enjoying her newly married life in New Jersey, even in the midst of the pandemic. Victoria lost her adjunct job at the high school because of COVID, but was just hired for the fall semester as the vocal music director for the nearby Atkins school district (K-12). She and Noah get married in a little over one week!

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Please wish them congratulations and pray for them as they begin their lives as one.

I have faced some challenging days physically, but have also experienced God’s presence in a soul-strengthening way. I greatly enjoyed participating in a support group which was also part of the training required to lead trauma/healing groups. One person has said that due to various COVID-related problems, people suffering from trauma will be the largest mission field around the world in coming months. Only the peace and presence of Jesus Christ can bring healing to such wounded hearts. I look forward to reaching out to many with the mercy of our Lord.

Our church began to meet again in May, with masks and proper social distancing. I am doing some premarital counseling, thanks to the internet. I am making slow progress in my disability case, and am anticipating a hearing the end of July. I am excited about how my personal ministry is developing even with my health challenges and our ever-changing world. Here is part of what I shared from our last newsletter, for those of you who missed it:

After three decades of pastoral ministry, including planting churches, acting as chaplain, serving as a children’s/youth worker, leading as camp director, and shepherding existing congregations, I am now beginning a private ministry that will serve pastors and local church fellowships. Details can be found at bheinen.com. Many pastors, especially those serving in smaller congregations, often need people to come alongside and encourage them and assist them with duties that they don’t have time to fulfill. The foundation of this new ministry is prayerful dependence upon our mighty God, and I will take every opportunity I can to personally pray for my pastor friends. My family remains committed to praying specifically for our neighbors as we reach them with the love and truth of Jesus Christ.

To exalt Jesus, I will focus on three main areas:

  1. Communicator. I hope to give pastors a needed break by providing church pulpit supply. I also am available to speak at camps and conferences. I am a trained FaithSearch Discovery presenter, and encourage your church or group to host this wonderful evangelism/apologetics seminar. Check out what FaithSearch is all about at faithsearch.org.
  2. Counselor. Many pastors just don’t have as much time to invest in biblical counseling as they desire. I will make myself available to help busy pastors out in this area. I am now a SYMBIS premarital assessment facilitator, and would love to do premarital counseling for those whose pastors are too busy to do so. I am also a certified Fresh Hope group facilitator, and hope to lead support groups all around our community for those with a mental health diagnosis (and those who love them).
  3. Coach. The role of a life coach is to help people decide where they want to go in certain areas of their lives and help them get there. The Christian Life Coach helps people discover where Jesus Christ wants them to go, and helps them get there by the power of the Holy Spirit. I would love to help individuals and groups be all that Christ wants them to be. My special areas of interest are Spiritual Formation, and equipping people going through transitions in life. If your church is between pastors right now, I would love to “coach” your entire church family during this transition.

Jesus Christ is my life, my everything. I want everyone to know Him. To borrow words from the apostle Paul, “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ” (Colossians 1:28 ESV). This is my desire. Would you help me?

I need your prayer! Only the Holy Spirit can change hearts and lives. I simply want to be His instrument. Contact me to be part of our prayer team.

I need your financial partnership. Would you prayerfully consider giving a generous gift to help me get started? How about a monthly gift? I hope to make all my services available for whatever people can afford. This means I will need supporters like you to supplement what clients can give. Right now, until we become a 501c3 organization, donations will just be considered gifts and are not tax deductible. You can give by sending a gift to our home address or by visiting bheinen.com. I realize that during this time of economic upheaval in our nation, this is the worst possible time to ask for funds. Yet, there are so many now who need spiritual encouragement.

I need you to use my services and refer them to others. How can I serve you? Your group? Your church family? Please let your friends know I am available. I can’t wait to share my incredible Savior with you and your friends.

Please contact me if you have any questions or if I can help in any way.

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

Rev. Brian Heinen

802 E 23rd Street Russellville, AR 72802

(479) 886-0765 bheinen.com brheinen1@gmail.com

HEINEN HAPPENINGS – April 2020

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Friends and family, I trust you are experiencing the sustaining grace of Jesus through these challenging times.  While you did not gather on Easter to worship the Risen King with other believers, I pray that the reality of the resurrection still filled you with Christ’s living hope.

I am so burdened for all of you who are suffering physically with the virus or with other scary symptoms.  I am interceding for all of you who are facing job uncertainty and financial insecurity.  I am concerned for all of you dealing with overwhelming isolation and loneliness.  These are terrifying times.  May God’s perfect love be so real to you that all fear is cast out of your hearts!  Please contact me if I can pray for you!

Our family is dealing with seclusion with humor amidst the frustration.  Leah graciously endured (or enjoyed) a three-week separation from me, as I self-quarantined myself because of symptoms.  Maria is doing a great job finishing her college coursework, although she admits she much prefers being on campus.  Rebekah starts a nanny job soon even with the strict stay-at-home order she faces in New Jersey.  She is still waiting for her social work license to be processed, which may take some time since the government offices are closed.  Victoria and Maria are doing childcare for some friends of our family.  Most of Victoria’s music students are postponing their lessons until they can meet face-to-face.  She is hoping that she and Noah do not have to postpone their wedding in May.  Please pray for them!

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Our church family is missing our times of corporate worship, although we did hold a brief, drive-in service on Easter Sunday (see above).  We met for 20 minutes before a thunderstorm rolled in.  My family and I are continuing to reach out to our neighbors.  I pray for five neighbor families daily, and we passed out 33 copies of the Jesus Film over Easter weekend.  We are writing notes to them to keep in touch during this quarantine period.  This week we launch a neighborhood Facebook page to help our neighbors connect more effectively.  I am praying about and starting to organize a post-covid block party, whenever we are able to gather again.  We love our neighbors!

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For those of you new to our newsletter, let me explain a little of my own recent experience.  (For you faithful readers, please skip over the next paragraph.)  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 Frankenstein’s monster.  My hands have constant 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 took a medical leave of absence last July 1st which turned into my resignation.  I am now unemployed and unemployable.  Although the courts are now greatly limited, I anxiously await a hearing to deal with my disability claim.  For most of the past two years, I have worn a boot on one or the other of my feet to heal wounds (see above).  Yet, through this trial God has proven Himself faithful time and time again.

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I thank God for this past year!  I have experienced God’s presence and peace in overwhelming fashion.  Daily I wake up completely dependent upon His grace and mercy for absolutely everything.  Corrie ten Boom has said, “You may never know that Jesus is all you need, until Jesus is all you have.”  I am privileged to live that truth every moment of every day!

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One of the Scriptures that God continually brings me back to is the invitation that Jesus gives to us to “come” to Him when we labor and are heavy laden, so He can give us rest.  I daily experience the reality of these words, and yearn for others who are now hurting to experience Jesus, too.  I can’t help but think that God will use my experience to help others meet Him.  People are really traumatized right now, and Jesus wants to heal their hurting hearts.

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I am praying that God will spread the comfort He has given me to comfort others.  To accomplish that, I sense God leading me to restart plans I had several years ago.

After three decades of pastoral ministry, including planting churches, acting as chaplain, serving as a children’s/youth worker, leading as camp director, and shepherding existing congregations, I am now beginning a private ministry that will serve pastors and local church fellowships.  Details can be found at bheinen.com.  Many pastors, especially those serving in smaller congregations, often need people to come alongside and encourage them and assist them with duties that they don’t have time to fulfill.  The foundation of this new ministry is prayerful dependence upon our mighty God, and I will take every opportunity I can to personally pray for my pastor friends.  My family remains committed to praying specifically for our neighbors as we reach them with the love and truth of Jesus Christ.

To exalt Jesus, I will focus on three main areas:

  1. Communicator. I hope to give pastors a needed break by providing church pulpit supply.  I also am available to speak at camps and conferences.  I am a trained FaithSearch Discovery presenter, and encourage your church or group to host this wonderful evangelism/apologetics seminar.  Check out what FaithSearch is all about at faithsearch.org.
  2. Counselor. Many pastors just don’t have as much time to invest in biblical counseling as they desire.  I will make myself available to help busy pastors out in this area.  I am now a SYMBIS premarital assessment facilitator, and would love to do premarital counseling for those whose pastors are too busy to do so.  I am also a certified Fresh Hope group facilitator, and hope to lead support groups all around our community for those with a mental health diagnosis (and those who love them).
  3. Coach. The role of a life coach is to help people decide where they want to go in certain areas of their lives and help them get there.  The Christian Life Coach helps people discover where Jesus Christ wants them to go, and helps them get there by the power of the Holy Spirit.  I would love to help individuals and groups be all that Christ wants them to be.  My special areas of interest are Spiritual Formation, and equipping people going through transitions in life.  If your church is between pastors right now, I would love to “coach” your entire church family during this transition.

Jesus Christ is my life, my everything.  I want everyone to know Him.  To borrow words from the apostle Paul, “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ” (Colossians 1:28 ESV).  This is my desire.  Would you help me?

I need your prayer!  Only the Holy Spirit can change hearts and lives.  I simply want to be His instrument.  Contact me to be part of our prayer team.

I need your financial partnership.  Would you prayerfully consider giving a generous gift to help me get started?  How about a monthly gift?  I hope to make all my services available for whatever people can afford.  This means I will need supporters like you to supplement what clients can give.  Right now, until we become a 501c3 organization, donations will just be considered gifts and are not tax deductible.  You can give by sending a gift to our home address or by visiting bheinen.com.  I realize that during this time of economic upheaval in our nation, this is the worst possible time to ask for funds.  Yet, there are so many now who need spiritual encouragement.

I need you to use my services and refer them to others.  How can I serve you?  Your group?  Your church family?  Please let your friends know I am available.  I can’t wait to share my incredible Savior with you and your friends.

Please contact me if you have any questions or if I can help in any way.

Rev. Brian Heinen

802 E 23rd Street    Russellville, AR 72802

(479) 886-0765    bheinen.com    brheinen1@gmail.com

HEINEN HAPPENINGS -March 2020

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Friends, during this time of constant upheaval and uncertainty, remember the Lord’s great love for you. In your weakness, may His strength be made perfect. In your turmoil, may His peace that transcends understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. We are praying for you! Please contact us if we can pray for you in a specific way.

Remember this description of our loving Father’s character:

The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness…”. (Exodus 34:6). This passage is the most quoted verse throughout the rest of Scripture for a reason.

Like your families, our own clan has experienced a challenging past month. Rebekah and her new husband Tim live in a virus hot-spot in New Jersey and faced a curfew and call to quarantine before the rest of the country. They bought a cat to celebrate.

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Victoria and her fiance Noah had to cancel their bridal shower. Their upcoming wedding is still in the works, but they are remaining flexible. Victoria’s adjunct job at the high school is now on hold (along with her income), and she is trying to connect with her music students online for lessons. Maria had to move off campus and will finish the rest of her semester on her computer in her bedroom. Leah, with her compromised immune system, is trying to deal with this by avoiding anyone who may be a carrier. I am listening to my doctor, who told me to self-quarantine since I have several symptoms. Let me tell you, it is difficult trying to avoid others when four people live together in one 800 square foot house. To top it all off, my mother had two heart attacks and several surgical procedures and was not allowed any visitors, including my very caring stepfather. Thankfully, she is now recovering at home. But I am not complaining. We have met with God in some incredible ways that may not have happened otherwise. Maria, Leah, and I are enjoying our study together in the gospel of Mark (with appropriate social distancing). Leah and I continue to pray though the Psalms and Proverbs (with appropriate social distancing). God is faithful and He is good.

I am really concerned for you. How are YOU doing? Many of you are fearful of disease. Some of you have parents who are high risk. Others face job insecurity and economic instability. A few of you are stranded far from home, wondering if you will see your family soon. I am so sorry for what you have to face. But I am thankful that we have Creator who knows you and loves you and is active in your life right now reaching out to you with His mercy and grace. How can I pray for you when I next meet with Him?

Because of the slowdown of our court and medical systems, my anticipated disability hearing and my upcoming appointment at the University of Arkansas Medical School seem to be on hold. This is a challenge considering I haven’t worked since July 1st. Yet, when our family met to talk about some of our virus worries and concerns, not one of us had anxiety over God’s provision. We have complete confidence He will lovingly meet our needs. I am praying about some possible ministry opportunities that I can do from home, but in a time when 50% of nonprofits may close, should I think of starting another one? Please pray for God’s provision for our family and that I will know and obey God’s will.

I don’t get out often, but before I got sick, I was able to tag along with some friends so I could attend a very special meeting in Texas. Part of the Spanish Central District is combining with the Southwestern District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. There was some concern that people would resist or struggle with this big change, but as we met a wonderful unity filled the place as the Holy Spirit visited. The transition will have some obstacles, but we will face them together for God’s glory. I haven’t been able to see my Alliance family for several years, so I greatly enjoyed the reunion.

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Our small church continues to pray for each other even as we are unable to meet. We are unable to have any type of service online in the Ozark hills, so we are making use of the old-fashioned telephone. We are sad that a dear exchange student from Poland who was hosted by a church family had to go home early. We will miss her!

Can I ask a favor of you? Here are the email addresses of our family members. Please send a short note to one of them to encourage them. I am sure they could use it trying to live with a guy who has to stay in one corner of one small room. Victoria could really use a kind word as they wedding plan in these uncertain times.

leah.janie.maria@gmail.com, rebekah.hope.heinen@gmail.com, v.heinen012@gmail.com, mariaheinen7301@gmail.com

We love and appreciate you! Please let us know how we can pray for you.

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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