I've made my list and checked it twice. Now what?

Erin Davis 04/26/11 | Twitter: @ErinGraffiti
Category: God ; 75 comments

Check out this great post from guest blogger, Liz Lockwood.

It feels really good to check things off my to-do list. In fact, I've even been known to add things to my list after I've done them just so I can check them off. to-do list

I've come to learn, though, that lists don't work for everything. While they're good for cleaning my house, planning a party, or making a grocery store run, there are just some things in life you can't "check off"—like growing closer to God.

Growing up as a pastor's kid made list-conquering a pretty easy task. Go to church (check). Read my Bible (check). Go to Bible study (check). Pray (check). Go on mission trips (check). In fact, "looking spiritual" is really easy if you're doing all the right things. People can think you're a really godly person, after all, if you are doing things that they expect a godly person to do.

I've learned, though, that "looking spiritual" doesn't really impress God. Did you catch that? It might be easy to make people at your church or in your family think that you are really in love with God because of what you do, but He knows your motivations and desires. He looks at your heart (1 Sam. 16:7). It's even easy to fool yourself into thinking that if you do all the "right things," you are okay with God. I've learned the hard way that actions that look right don't always mean my heart is right with God. This is a lesson I'm still learning a lot about, but let me challenge you with some things that have helped me along the way:

  • Check your motives. Before you undertake a task or after you mark something off your spiritual to-do list, check your heart and see if you did it to impress people. Ask God to convict you when you do things simply to impress others.
  • Read the Word. There are so many great Christian books and websites out there, but make sure that reading the Bible takes first priority in your life. You have to be careful not to read it just to "check it off the list," but to genuinely be changed by it and grow through it. Ask God to give you a greater desire to know His Word.
  • Be accountable. As we've talked about many times before, it is critical that you have close friends who can hold you accountable in your Christian walk. You need people who you can be honest and vulnerable with about your struggles. These need to be people you can trust and who will tell you if they notice patterns of sin and inconsistency in your life.
  • Remember you can't make yourself godly. No matter how hard you try or how many good things you do, there is no way that you can make yourself more godly. It just won't happen. We are told in Jeremiah 17:9 that our hearts are "desperately wicked." So the starting point for growing to look more like Christ is to admit to God that you can't do it on your own and that you need His help.
  • Remind yourself of the gospel often. Apart from Christ, we are hopeless. It's important to keep this in mind if you are going to have a proper perspective of yourself and the things you do.

So girls—the next time you pull out your spiritual "to-do" list, take a minute to stop and check your motives. Remember, God's not looking at your list; He's looking at your heart.

Liz LockwoodAbout the Author: Liz Lockwood graduated from Southern Seminary in 2005 with an M.Div. and Th.M. in theology. She recently joined the staff at Revive Our Hearts, where she serves in the area of communication and social media. When not behind her desk, you'll find Liz spending time with friends and enjoying the outdoors.

 

 

Comments

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate.

    99
    question......
    on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 1:35 am
    so, I should know his question. but for a while I thought that getting closer to God was about ME doing the CHECK off my list! so, here is the question:

    how do you get closer to God without it being about "me checking off my list to get closer to God"?

    I want to get closer to Him. And He just wants me to wait on Him. But I still feel stuck in this rutt. Like I am not really growing in my walk. Last year God totaly changed my life miraculously. I want HIm to do the same this year. I just want to believe Him, that He will change my heart. That the heart-ache I have been having will be healed by Him (still waiting on that too). And even though I am growing up in a Christian home, I still have questions like everyone else. I feel like I should know these things... but I don't. I have been fasting.... and I feel like I have been doing it 'wrong'. I have been asking for the fear of the Lord. but I don't know. it feels like I am not really progressing. can you guys help in any way? I would love to hear from any of you gals!!!!! (=
    Emii
    Re:
    on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 3:51 am
    I was thinking today, "God, what can I do to become more like You?"

    And then it was just like... well, duh. It's not about doing all the "right" things. It was as if I'd slipped back into that whole "You have to do this, you have to do that" thing the Pharisees had going.

    I have to make myself available to God. Like on Princess Diaries, Lily has that show -- Shut up and Listen. Maybe that's what we have to do, to put it, well... kind of harshly. :)
    Mary
    Please Pray!
    on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 8:53 am
    This was a great post and it came just at a time when I needed it. My prayer life has been going downhill and I haven't read my Bible in a while. I am really good a looking good. I post on this blog all the time...I know all the right answers to anything "spiritual" but I haven't been taking the time to get closer to God. Please pray for me!!!!!
    Courtney
    Re:
    on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 9:04 am
    Great post!
    Emma
    Re:
    on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 9:08 am
    Liz-thank you for this post!!!
    My dad grauated from southern seminary about 3 years ago and now we are in a little town in Minn. I think that sometimes I do have kind of a "check-list off' attitude.Thanks again!!!1
    Jesse
    Re:
    on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 9:09 am
    Its hard knowing that I cannot make myself more godly. But i know that God does and he will make me more godly if i just trust him. Thats what im really learning right now in my walk.. to completely trust God!
    Ayana
    Re:
    on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 11:31 am
    Sometimes its hard to wait on GOD's timing because I want to become godly all at once instead of taking the time to mature the way GOD wants me to...
    Ashley
    Like It
    on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 12:32 pm
    Great Post! This should really get us thinking about our spiritual walk with God.
    Brittany
    Re
    on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 1:21 pm
    Great post, Erin! I really enjoyed reading this! and Mary, I'm praying for you! Would love if you could pray for me too! :)
    Adora
    grace
    on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 2:22 pm
    This post was for me!!! I was just praying and journaling about this very subject. With this im reminded that we need to rely on His grace. At my church the pastors definition of grace is "Gods sovereign divine ability to get the job done on my behalf when i cant do it." Knowing this and my question now if anyone would like to share there thoughts is 'How much do I do?" I know im not suppossed to rely on my own ability the Word says apart from Christ I can do nothing. And it also says faith without works is dead.
    "How much do I do and what do I leave for God to do?
    Ella
    RE: 99
    on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 2:44 pm
    I definitely understand what you're going through. I have those amazing moments where you feel God's presence and love around you and it is so real and tangible. Once you've experience those times you just hunger and yearn for more, but then I felt that once I felt God so close and near, I literally was like a ballon that was slowly being deflated. But my youth pastor, said something to me the other day, and he said that I should continue to love God softly. Although, you may feel like you're in a rutt, use this opportunity to continue to dwell in God's word, because in order for God to use us we must be ready, we must be prepared. It may not come with the snap of your fingers, this is something that happens gradually but when you look back and reflect you'll realize how much God was working at your life. Most of all, don't ever give up as hard as it gets, because in the long run you'll never regret it.

    Hope this helps, <33
    In Christ,
    Ella
    Sarah
    Thank you!
    on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 3:44 pm
    I really needed this today. And as for the first comment--girl, I am right there with you. I try to be spiritual but I feel like I'm doing it wrong. I spend time in the Bible but I'm not letting it change me...even though I want to change. What am I missing?
    Vic
    Re: Mary
    on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 3:51 pm
    Great Post!
    Mary:
    I feel exactly like you. What you wrote is word for word how I feel. I wasn't sure how to put that in words and admit it, but what you said is sssoo true to me. I will definitely be praying for you! Pray for me also.
    Lots of Love in Christ <3
    Emma
    Re:
    on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 6:07 pm
    @ Mary-I will definetely pray for you.I kind of have been doing it too.I think really the biggest thing to do is PRAY!!!
    Annamarie
    Re:
    on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 7:15 pm
    Thanks Liz for this post! I love how you said 'Remember God's not looking at your list; He's looking at your heart.' :)
    Chloe
    Wow
    on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 10:03 pm
    I definitely try to please God with my actions, because I know that it's the right thing to do. Sometimes I fail, and sometimes I do it because I really do want to please God, but there are other times when I do it because I know I should, not because I want to. I have a very hard time being sincere with God in my actions, because what's in my heart doesn't always match my actions. If I did what was in my heart, then I would be a mess. So what should I do? How can I make myself want to please the Lord instead of doing just because "I should"?
    Mud Dogs Softball #14
    Great Story :) !!!
    on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 10:30 pm
    This was a great story. It is sooo true. I've been reading the Lies Young Women Believe book with some of the girls at Youth. It is such a great book, and I feel like it helps me thru tough times. I am actually getting babtised, because I have decided to invite Christ into my life. But any way this was a great story, you did a GREAT job Liz. :-)
    99
    Re: Ella
    on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 2:35 am
    some days I feel so encouraged by God, the next I feel deflated and stretched out. it has been really difficult, but I just keep having an unmistakable urge to ask questions and be open with people for insight [which does not come naturally for me to be open - even with my closest friends & family]. so, yes. thank you! have an awesome day, Ella =)
    andrea
    Re:
    on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 6:05 pm
    Uggh..thanks for the post...i really needed this...ive been struggling with it for a really long time...i want to grow up right now!!!! i feel so far behind everyone else....
    Emily
    Thanks!
    on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at 7:24 pm
    I am a pastor's kid and I have found this to be true of me. I love making lists and checking things off (I also have added things after I have done them). Thank you for reminding me that spending time with God is not something that should just be checked off or put in a time limit. I appreciate this!
    Anita
    Re:
    on Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 11:48 pm
    Really liked the post. Everything you do speaks to me. Thanks, LYWB :)
    Heather (Svan)
    Re:
    on Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 1:22 am
    Hi, Erin. I have a question for you.

    If the way to salvation is simply by accepting that Jesus dies on the cross for our sins, then why is it that more people aren't saved?
    I just read on some other site that if the rapture (or whatever is supposed to happen) occurs on May 21, 2011 only 3% of the people on this Earth will be taken to Heaven. But if so many people do believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, then how can this be true?
    Kaylah
    Re: 99... Note: PLEASE READ
    on Saturday, April 30, 2011 at 9:13 pm
    Hey 99! I am praying you will read this, because well, I can relate. Maybe (now this is just what the LORD has showed me through HIS word) you are feeling un-fulfilled in growing closer to HIM and HIM satisfying you, is maybe because of unfaith. I catch myself wanting to be very strong, and wanting for GOD to grow me, and show me HIS plan for me, but then my screaming plea stops there... I don't have FAITH for HIM to fulfill HIS promises and for HIM to grow me, as I have faith in HIM! (Without faith it is impossible to please GOD!) I hope this blesses you, dear sister in the FATHER..... :) Have a blessed week!
    Heather (Svan)
    Sorry about this completely off topic post.
    on Monday, May 2, 2011 at 1:27 am
    Did you guys catch the news?! Osama Bin Laden is dead.

    So many people are rejoicing, but I can't be happy about this. It creeps me out that Bin Laden is facing his judgement, right now. I know it's not my place to assume where he's going, but I'm still freaked out just the same. =(
    Heather (Svan)
    @Erin:
    on Monday, May 2, 2011 at 9:23 pm
    @Erin: I don't mean to sound like a pain in the neck, but could you please pray for my salvation? I'm afraid that I'm not saved, and I'm running out of time. Please please pleeeeease?
    anon
    Re: Heather (Svan)
    on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 10:49 am
    I heard about that. I think that it's further indication, in addition to all the storms and tornadoes and natural disasters and such, that the world's end is nearing. I mean, come on - WE JUST KILLED THOSE PEOPLES' LEADER! They're gonna be declaring war, or trying to kill us without actually declaring war, in no time!

    I don't believe in the "May 21, 2011 will be the end of the world" thing because those people are claiming that their calculation is based off of the Bible, but that can't be because the Bible says no one except God knows when the world will end, so those people are just false prophets. And I don't believe in the December 21, 2012 thing either because of, again, what it says in scripture about no one other than God knowing. So I don't have an exact date picked out or anything, I'm just saying it HAS to be nearing. We've talked about this at church, too.

    And the Bible says that "nation will rise against nation" before the world can end so yeah. I don't see why exactly people are celebrating. I guess their reasoning is that a man who was very evil is now gone, but I mean, he had followers! Now that Osama's dead, we're in bigger trouble than we were when he was alive!
    Erin Davis
    Heather
    on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 2:46 pm
    I am happy to pray for you and have prayed for you often as you've visited the site over the years. But I want you to know that I cannot pray for your salvation, but you can! Why not do it right now?

    1. Admit to God that you are a sinner.
    Romans 3:23 tells us, "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."

    2. Confess your need for a Savior and ask Jesus to be the Lord of your life. In other words, turn over control of your life to Him.

    Romans 10:9 says, "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

    Tell Jesus that you believe that He is the son of God and that He can handle your life better than you can.

    3. Accept that salvation is a free gift. You can't earn it or do anything to deserve it, but you can choose to believe what God says in His Word about what it takes to become His forever.

    Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

    Romans 8:14-17 says, "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him."

    God's gift is free and He promises that when we accept it we become adopted into His family and heirs of His kingdom.

    I know that you have wise Christians around you who are telling you the Word of God. It seems to me like you are just having a tough time accepting it as Truth.

    Can you find someone to pray with today?

    Erin
    Heather (Svan)
    Erin
    on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 3:33 pm
    Accepting Jesus' sacrifice is easy, but I've already done that once. I was close to God. I knew Him. I had a relationship with Him.

    But then in the 7th grade I began to lie often, about anything. Exaggerate stories, and such. I was convicted, but I ignored the Holy Spirit. Then I was curious about sex, so I tried masturbating. I only lasted a few seconds before I felt overwhelming guilt for what I had done. I told myself that I would never do it again. But then JUST SECONDS LATER I thought "maybe that guilt won't bother me this time." So I masturbated me, again, and I didn't feel the smallest ounce of guilt.

    After that, I never EVER felt the Holy Spirit convict me, again.

    In the years that transpired, I committed every sin I can think of: homosexuality, jealousy to the point of wishing my friend were dead, hate for my parents, pathological lying for attention (pretending I was depressed for attention), pretending that I wanted to kill myself (again for attention), I becames addicted to masturbation and pornography (and I even looked up child pornography and fantasized about that), I masturbated in the back of my grandparents' car while they were driving it, I hated to the point that I felt like I could murder without feeling guilt, I hated God, I hated Christianity, I hated Jesus, I made my own God and religion who accepted everyone, I think I attributed Jesus' miracles to evil sorcery, and I'm probably forgetting all the things I did.

    I'm afraid that that is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the unforgiveable sin. I sinned so much, so badly, and without a tiny ounce of remorse that I can't get the Holy Spirit back.

    I read somewhere that I already used up Jesus' sacrifice, and that there is no other sacrifice for me. All I have to look forward to is Hell fire.

    I also read that punishment will be the worst for me b/c I HAD God and was so close to Him, but then I CHOSE to turn away from Him.

    Also, I read that if you are afraid that you have committed the unforgiveable sin then you probably haven't, HOWEVER I'm only afraid that I've committed the unforgiveable sin b/c I'm afraid of my punishment.

    What I mean is, I'm not afraid from my heart, I'm afraid from my head.

    I don't know what to do. I can't escape. I'm doomed. And it's all my fault. It was dumb to abandon the Holy Spirit. But I can't get it back.

    A few days ago, I decided that I don't want to live this life, anymore. I remember what it was like to be God's daughter, and I want it back, so I repented of my sins. I haven't watched porn for I'll guess 2 or 3 days. And I'm sure I won't go back to it, but I don't HATE this sin like I'm supposed to. Like how I remember hating sin when I was younger.

    Erin, am I doomed?
    Heather (Svan)
    @Erin
    on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 3:36 pm
    Erin, am I dead to the Holy Spirit? I don't know how to fix this.
    Heather (Svan)
    @Erin:
    on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 5:05 pm
    @Erin: Also, before everything, before my pathological lying, I idolized Harry Potter. It was the center of my life, and the Holy Spirit convicted me that I shouldn't spend so much of my thought life of Harry Potter, but I ignored it.

    And, after I read lies young women believe, I wanted to appear holy to the people at school, so I would talk about purity until marriage, but I was still a horibble sinner masturbating multiple times a day. I was like the Pharisees who Jesus despised. And I would carry 3 Bibles around so that people would see, but I never ever read them.

    And I used to tell my friends that I wrote stories for attention, but I never did.

    All these things, and I used to be so close to God. I've ruined my own chance of salvation? There is no sacrifice left for me. Idk what to do.
    Heather (Svan)
    @Erin:
    on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 6:31 pm
    @Erin: Erin, I'm so worried I made myself get a fever last night. Last night was the first night I finally became afraid of hell. I could never fear it, before, b/c I was out of touch with reality. But last night I made myself sick and I had to sleep with a cold rag on my face/neck. And today I was so tired that I fell asleep between classes for an hour. And my cousin and grandmother notice that I'm not myself, today. I don't like this feeling. I don't know what to do. If there's no hope for me idk what I'll do.
    Heather (Svan)
    @Erin:
    on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 6:32 pm
    @Erin: Erin, I'm so worried I made myself get a fever last night. Last night was the first night I finally became afraid of hell. I could never fear it, before, b/c I was out of touch with reality. But last night I made myself sick and I had to sleep with a cold rag on my face/neck. And today I was so tired that I fell asleep between classes for an hour. And my cousin and grandmother notice that I'm not myself, today. I don't like this feeling. I don't know what to do. If there's no hope for me idk what I'll do.
    Heather (Svan)
    @Erin:
    on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 8:43 pm
    @Erin: I still don't feel any speck of guilt for anything I've done. I feel fear, but that's not the same. It wasn't worth the sinning. I know this in my head, but I want the Holy Spirit back. The guilt will hurt, but if it means that I won't face fire, then I'll welcome it.

    I don't want the worst punishment for being a believer and then turning away. I'll get worse than just the fire. And I feel feverish and I have no apetite. Erin, I don't know how to fix this. Or if I even can.
    Heather (Svan)
    @Erin:
    on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 9:04 pm
    @Erin:

    As for those people who were once brought into the light, and tasted the gift from Heaven, and received a share of the Holy Spirit,

    and tasted the goodness of God’s message and the powers of the world to come and yet in spite of this have fallen away--it is impossible for them to be brought into the freshness of repentance a second time, since they are crucifying the Son of God again for themselves, and making a public execution of him.

    -- Hebrews 6:4-6
    Heather (Svan)
    @Erin:
    on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 10:54 am
    @Erin: I don't have godly women in my life. I went to church for the first time in a long tme this past Sunday. I can only talk to you, Erin. Please, I need to know if there's a way to fix this. I can't live like this. It hurts.
    Erin Davis
    Heather
    on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 2:31 pm
    Whoa! Clearly, there is a lot going on in your heart and mind. I consider that a good thing. You are thinking about faith and eternity and your actions and how they impact God and others. You don't have all the answers yet, but you're searching. God promises us that when we search for Him we will find Him (Luke 11:9).

    You are also looking for wisdom about the things of God. In His Word, God promises that when we seek wisdom, He will give it to us freely, without finding fault in us for not having all of the answers.

    James 1:5 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."

    It is okay to have questions about God. But let me encourage you to go to Him with all of the worry and fear and stress you are dealing with. Pray about it. If you have a hard time getting your mind to focus, write it out or draw pictures of what questions you want God to answer. And read the Word! It seems to me that you are getting some information that is false doctrine (such as that you've used up Jesus' sacrifice or that your punishment in Hell will be worse because you once knew God...these are NOT Biblical principles). Stop looking to other sources for the Truth about God and look to His Word! The book of Romans is a great place to start to learn the Truth about salvation.

    Also...I am happy to help as I am able, but I cannot substitute for a pastor and wise, Christian mentor. This blog format simply does not allow for me to answer your questions in a way that is most beneficial to you. You need to find someone who can open God's Word with you, help you understand it and pray with you. If you don't have someone in your life who can meet that need now, do the hard work to find someone. Seek out a pastor or Christian counselor. Keep asking until you find someone who can wrestle through these tough questions with you.

    The major theme of all of your comments is that you are a sinner. I know that the pain and remorse of sin can feel like a burden that will never be lifted, but that is simply not the case. Your sins may be big, but God is bigger. He never said that there are some sins He won't forgive and He never said that there is a limit to the forgiveness He is willing to offer.

    You say you don't feel remorse, but in your comments you express remorse over and over. You don't have to drum up more sorrow than you already have, simply confess your sin to God and ask Him to do the cleansing work that only He can do.

    1 John 1:9 promises, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

    His promise is that He is willing and able to forgive you. He doesn't put limits on it. Believe what He has said about your sin!

    You are not doomed. But you do need to take action. Confess your sin. Ask God to forgive you. Believe His promises that you are forgiven and begin to walk in the freedom that He died to give you (Galatians 5:1) instead of allowing the tapes of your sin to play over and over in your mind.

    Here is your game plan.
    1. Pray and ask God to forgive you.
    2. Do everything you can in your own strength to turn away from your sin and pray for God to help you in areas where you are weak.
    3. Start reading the Word for yourself. Start with Romans or do a topical study on sin and salvation. (The concordance in the back of your Bible will help or do a keyword search on Biblegateway.com).
    4. Find a pastor and Christian mentor to talk to.
    5. Allow God's Word to transform your thoughts. Memorize these three key verses and say them to yourself often:
    1. 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

    2. Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

    3. Galatians 5:1 "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."

    I am going to recruit our prayer team to pray for you.

    Erin
    Heather (Svan)
    @Erin:
    on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 2:40 pm
    But what about this?

    As for those people who were once brought into the light, and tasted the gift from Heaven, and received a share of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the goodness of God’s message and the powers of the world to come and yet in spite of this have fallen away--it is impossible for them to be brought into the freshness of repentance a second time, since they are crucifying the Son of God again for themselves, and making a public execution of him.
    -- Hebrews 6:4-6

    I did this! I definitely did this. I cannot be brought to repentance a second time. I don't feel remorse, right now, I feel terrible fear.
    Heather (Svan)
    @Erin:
    on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 3:59 pm
    @Erin: Erin, the weirdest thing just happened. I was sitting here watching tv, and then for some reason I consciously thought in my head "it doesn't matter where I go when I die." I don't know why I thought that. And then something weird happened inside me, and all my fear is gone. So is my fever, and I think I might be able to eat.

    Was that the Holy Spirit leaving me? Or was that forgiveness?

    I don't really think it doesn't matter if I go to hell when I die, but now I can't be afraid of it. I'm indifferent like I was before. But I don't want that. Even thought the fear hurt, I still had hope that I was changing. But now I'm back to square one. Where did my fear go? I want that back.
    Heather (Svan)
    @Erin:
    on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 4:06 pm
    @Erin: What I mean is that I feel completely better now, but idk if it's for the right reason. What happened, just then?

    I'm sorry to keep bothering you. I know you said that I should find a pastor to help me better, and I know that you're a very busy person so for me to ask for such one-on-one help is selfish, but you already know my story and I also know that you are a godly woman, so I trust you know what's going on. If I were to start all over again with a pastor, he might not really believe what I say or he might not hear all of it before he makes a judgement in his mind. But b/c you read these comments I know that you're getting all that I'm saying.
    Heather (Svan)
    @Erin:
    on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 5:47 pm
    @Erin: Nevermind, the fear is back. Just not as strong. But I'm afraid that when I go to bed tonight the fear will return just as strong as before b/c I'll be alone with my thoughts. But what about that Bible quote I found?
    Heather (Svan)
    @Erin:
    on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 10:49 pm
    @Erin: So I remember meeting this woman where I used to work, and she invited me to her church (not a Catholic one like where I was "raised"). That was back in January, and I had never went. But in the past few days I had been freaking out (as you know) and I went onto that website link she sent me for her church, and I saw that there was a Wednesday 7:15 mass.

    I went to that church tonight hoping to find solace of some sort, but I couldn't find the mass! So I stumbled into a room where I saw a bunch of people, and I asked the woman at a desk where the mass was. She said that for some reason (I forget the reason lol) there wasn't a mass tonight, but there was this meeting to become a member of the church. So I said that I'll do that instead.

    So I sat there for a while and learned that I was sitting in the 8th class to become a member of the church. I was drawn to the speaker, Steve, because he seemed really kind.

    In the end, he had us sign some papers stating our name, birthdate, and such, and then the questionairre asked me about my baptism. So I called him over to tell him about my infant baptism b/c I knew he wouldn't think that counted. And then he asked me if I had ever received God into my life.

    That's when I had Steve read a piece of paper saying all of my troubles about how I was convinced that I wasn't saved and that I committed the unpardonable sin.

    He asked me to sit with him privately, and I told him about some of the horibble things I had done (some of the things I told you) and he told me that nothing can separate me from God's love and forgiveness. He talked to me for about an hour I guess and told me that he sees something in my eyes that I will be great (or something like that). He told me that it wasn't a coincidence that I walked into the meeting, that day. This all makes me feel better and gives me a lot of hope. I'm still not totally convinced that I haven't committed the unpardonable sin because I still can't feel remorse for my sins, but Steve said that that's something I have to work out with God. I'm afraid, and I have a feeling that I'll panic again in the future, but I feel like there might be hope. But I'm still really worried that I can't feel remorse.

    I don't know if this happened because of your prayers or because of your prayer team's prayers or because of your counseling, or by pure chance, or by God's will, but I want to thank you, Erin for being so patient with me in pointing out God's Word, and for counseling me even though that's not what this blog is for, and for praying for me. And please keep praying for me b/c it's obviously working!

    Love,
    Heather<33

    P.s. If you don't mind, could you still give me your opinion on that Bible quote?
    Heather (Svan)
    @Erin:
    on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 10:53 am
    @Erin: Okay, what about this?

    [Let] there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

    I'm scared, again.
    Heather (Svan)
    @Erin:
    on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 11:25 am
    @Erin: How do I know that I'm not hardened to sin? I don't feel any remorse for the things I've done?
    anon
    Re: Heather (Svan) + I am really scared now + Erin
    on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 1:52 pm
    OMG girl (Heather) I just looked up the whole chapter of Hebrews 6 and I read through it and I looked up a couple interpretations of it online - one I read all of, the other I just glanced over, really - and from what I'm aware of, I didn't find anywhere that says that verse about not being able to be "brought back in to repentance" is somehow meant in a different way!! In fact, all the things I found agree with that! I'm sorry, I know I'm probably freaking you out even more, Heather, but I am soooo scared right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :'( Ohhhhhmygosh what now?!?!?!? Can I not be forgiven now?!? I've been having a REALLY bad patch of not listening to God so does that mean I'm doomed for Hell? Oh my gosh ERIN PLEASE TELL US THERE'S SOME WAY THIS ISN'T TRUE!!! Please tell us there's some way to fix it!! Cuz I KNOW I've had enlightenment on different things and then on and off rejected them or abided by them. Oh my gosh Erin please I am begging you, I am begging ANYONE WHO REALLY KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT AND CAN BACK IT UP WITH THE BIBLE, that it's not impossible for me or Heather or anyone else in a position like this to be brought back in to repentance! Those verses contradict other areas of the Bible where it says God will forgive ANY sin, and that would include the sin of, as the articles I've read called it, apostasy. Oh my gosh Erin I know you're busy but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE answer me PLEASE!!! Oh my gosh. :'( I don't want to go to Hell!!!!!!! :'(
    Heather (Svan)
    @Erin:
    on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 4:10 pm
    @Erin: So I went to class today, and before it began I was feeling really bad about my salvation (still), and I wanted to go back to the church I was at the day before, but I didn't think there would be enough time between class and my dentist appointment an hour away.
    But my teacher came in and said that there was a party on the campus and that we would do one proof (it's a math problem) and then we would go out to the party.
    So I asked my professor if I could take care of something else, instead, and I went back to the church to find someone I could talk to. The first 2 doors I tried were locked, but I went into the 3rd door and saw that no one was there. I went exploring for a little while until I came across a room of people, and I asked if I could talk to a pastor. They called a few people and found that Steve was there today. What a coincidence!
    So I went in to see him with all my concerns about the unpardonable sin and family issues and all my sins and other issues I'm having, and he stressed to me that if I'm willing, God can take me back and make me His, again. And after we prayed together, Steve wrote down a Bible verse that came to him while we were praying. It was Deuteronomy 31:6 "I will never leave you nor forsake you."
    Steve also said that it wasn't a coincidence that I came back to him, today. 1) He wasn't supposed to be there in the first place until he was called in spur of the moment a few days ago 2) he was having issues with his car (or something like that) 3) My college just happened to be having a party that my professor just happened to want to attend.
    All of these are signs that God is trying to bring me back to Him, and Deuteronomy 31:6 just seals that deal.
    I'm going to work hard to get back to God by reading His Word, attending this new church, and getting a bit of additional help, but I'm going to make it. I definitely will because it is God's will.

    I wanted to tell you because I'm happy and because I think your prayers are helping. Thank you, Erin!
    Heather (Svan)
    @Anon:
    on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 4:14 pm
    @Anon: If you read my other comments when they are displayed, you'll see that I've talked to a pastor about these issues. He clarified that these verses are taken out of context. If you'll reread the Hebrews verse that I posted earlier and read further than that, you'll see that God will STILL take back the people that turned on Him if they are willing.
    Pastor Steve says that God doesn't ever abandon anyone. You can always come back if you are willing.

    Deuteronomy 31:6 "I will never leave you nor forsake you"

    Just remember that!
    anon
    Re: Heather (Svan)
    on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 6:28 pm
    Girl, I have got to tell you, I think God had you come to this blog and post all these comments that included your fears and struggles and how you met up with Pastor Steve and stuff to give me a wake up call - one that I very much needed! I cried and cried for like an hour, amybe more, with my mom after reading those verses in Hebrews chapter 6 that you posted (and then I looked that stuff up and read the whole chapter, as I told you; after I did all that is when I started crying like crazy) and finally I got my mom convinced to call our preacher so she could ask him about Hebrews chapter 6. He wasn't there, but one of his sons answered and wrote down our number and said that his dad would call us back. After that I was apologizing to God/Jesus for all of these sins I've committed and stuff, the whole time just hoping He even still cared that I was apologizing and trying to talk to Him (I didn't know if like He couldn't hear me anymore or something) and I asked Jesus back into my heart and did the salvation prayer again, because with all this stuff going on I most definitely felt it necessary.

    So then I worked on one of my art projects and ate dinner, then I was gonna go outside to walk in our yard while waiting for the preacher to call back so maybe *I* could talk to him (I originally was just gonna have my mom talk to him lol), but I decided to check on here to see if my comment had been approved yet, the one where I was so scared and flipping out, and that's when I saw it had been, and I saw all of your comments.

    Your story is absolutely beautiful, how all these non-coincidences, but pushes from God, happened to you recently with your Pastor Steve and stuff. I particularly found the thing about you meeting up with him when the whole party and car troubles thing was going on to be very cool and godly-amazing! :)

    I'm still waiting for my preacher to call back, and I've decided now that I will talk to him. :) (Instead of making my mom. XD) I will talk to him about what I was worried about, and how you said your pastor said those verses were taken out of context. I'm gonna ask him about how exactly they are taken out of context, and just get total clarification, ya know, just so I feel completely better by understanding it all and stuff, so I'm 100% reassured. :)

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and stuff on here! :)

    Also, this will sound weird that I'm telling you this, but I felt like God wanted me to so I could apologize - back a few months ago, I was the person with the screen name "anonymous" who was asking about why the people who run LYWB and stuff don't use just the KJV Bible (I honestly was doing that because I was worried they would be in trouble with God for that and wanted to warn them - but I don't think that anymore; keep reading :)), and I don't remember what all I said or what all anyone who replied to me said, but I know that I submitted a very angry and mean comment that was in reply to you and maybe some other people because I was upset/hurt over what you'd said to me, but it never got posted, and looking back I'm glad!

    Firstly, I asked my preacher what he thought of the NKJV Bible and he actually wasn't saying it's totally bad or anything like I honestly thought it was - from my teenage Sunday school class, I actually think one of his sons HAS a NKJV! :) (or at least some other translation) (I was getting the thought any other translation was wrong from a verse or two that is near/at the end of Revelation that says not to change or add to the words of the Bible, but I later on asked him about that, and he said that translations weren't what was meant by "adding or changing" or w/e - and yeah, I know, the KJV is a translation too).

    I also posted under a different screen name (the screen name I used to post under) saying I was gonna stay out of the dispute going on between you and the anonymous person (who was also me) so that I, under one of the screen names I used to go by, wouldn't be suspected of being the anonymous person who started the translations argument.

    Anyway, I just wanted to tell you I'm sorry about all of that, I honestly thought I was right about the translations thing, but then I asked my preacher some stuff as mentioned earlier, and learned I'd been wrong, so yeah, sorry about that whole thing! And if anyone else was involved in that whole thing - I'm sorry to them, too! Will you please forgive me?

    Just something you might find interesting - I sometimes look stuff up under both the KJV and NKJV translations on biblegateway.com now, though I still only have a KJV Bible. :) I find it cool to look stuff up in both the KJV and NKJV translations - the KJV because I still personally feel it's closest to the original; the NKJV because it's easier to understand. :)

    Again, thank you so much for sharing your story and stuff, and you are very sweet, and I'll be praying for you! If you could do me a favor and pray for me, too, I would really appreciate that!

    This will sound stupid but this summer there's this certain show coming to Nick that is ungodly, and that I've been obsessed with since I was 7 or 8 -- and I'm almost 14 now! -- and I haven't even been watching the show lately since it's not airing in the US currently, tho it will be when it comes to Nick, but I've been thinking about it and stuff, and it is the main thing that has been keeping me from God. I've loved the one evil witch from the show, like obsessively loved her (not in a lesbian way or anything like that! I mean in a crazy, obsessed, I guess you could call it "seeing her as my idol," way), for like 5-7 nearly consecutive years now. I'm not feeling that love towards her right now, I'm assuming cuz I rededicated my life to God and REALLY wanna try harder this time, but knowing me, that love for her may come back sometime tomorrow or something.

    So please, if you could - PRAY THAT IT WON'T! And pray that if Satan tempts me, or if I start to want to go back to thinking about her and stuff all the time, that I will resist and cling to God. It's gonna be really hard for me when this show comes to Nick in summer (well, they are doing specials on it in summer about the episodes that have already been made; the new episodes will air in the fall as well as Feb 2012) to not watch it, or get tempted, or think about it and stuff. So PLEASE pray that I won't give in, whether it be to watching it, or watching fan-made videos about it, or thinking about it, or WHATEVER!

    Wow sorry this is so long! XD Anyway, once again - I shall be praying for you! :) xo
    anon
    Re: Heather (Svan)
    on Friday, May 6, 2011 at 7:27 am
    Ohmygosh Heather guess what happened to me?? So ever since that all happened yesterday I was really really trying to keep my focus and thoughts on God, or really anything that wasn't that TV show or the witch from it that I love. Well I was really tired and I was behind in my school work and I fell asleep for a while, then woke up around 1:30 AM so I got up and did a little school work, then went to sleep at like 2 AM, deciding I'd just work on my overdue work in the morning (like, later-than-2-AM morning lol) that way I'd actually be fully awake and fully aware of what I was doing.

    Well since I have stuff overdue (I'm doing cyber school right now) and today is "mid-marking period"where we have to have all our work that is due finished by a certain time today, my mom got me up around 6:20 or 6:30 AM and told me she wanted me to get up and work on my school.

    Well JUST BEFORE she got me up, I had a dream that would totally be an idea for a fanfiction of my fave witch from that show's background, and since I love writing, I knew I could at least develop it into a storyline in my head and daydream about it, if not write it down. And since I was still asleep and wasn't thinking, I let myself finish the dream.

    But when I woke up and remembered all that happened yesterday, I hurried up and tried to push what happened in the dream outta my head and I asked God to take it out of my mind and stuff and not let me think about it. I just can't believe it - Satan sends me a dream like that (I think it was him) just as soon as I'm really trying to give that show/obsession with that witch up!!

    A similar thing happened to me before, it was for New Year's 2011 that I decided to give up masturbating and some other stuff (that didn't happen but I am gonna try really hard to stop now). Well I'm pretty sure it was that very night (technically the AM of 1-1-11 but whatever) that I had dreams about some stuff that would entice me to masturbate, and I think I even had a dream that I WAS masturbating! Maybe it was my subconscious thinking about things I was saying I wouldn't anymore, but I think it very well could have been Satan sending me the dreams. So I just couldn't even believe that I had the dream I did JUST before I woke up! Like, why couldn't I have woken up just minutes earlier?!?!

    But anyway, I also talked to my preacher last night and he said about how if there weren't so many examples of people turning on God but then coming back and being forgiven in the Bible, then yeah, we could look at Hebrews 6:4-6 and say that means we can't be forgiven [when we do that]. BUT, because there are so many examples of people turning on God and then coming back and Him forgiving them, I don't remember his exact words but basically what he was saying was we know because of all those examples that we CAN be forgiven, even when we turn on God.

    He also asked me if I knew about the "blasphemy of the Holy Ghost" and I said yeah, I was reading about that, and he said that just living a sinful life is not blasphemy. I'm guessing this is what he meant was - he said there have been people who at one point had the Holy Ghost, but then told it, "Go away from me and never talk to me again." and YEARS later, they say they have never felt God talk to them since. However, I am gonna ask him more about that on Sunday (he decided to make this discussion on Hebrews 6 the topic for the teenage class this Sunday). I will tell you what I find out. :)

    And Erin, just a random thing to tell you -- a couple weeks ago I told my mom that I've watched porn before, and a few weeks later she told my dad. (just because there was this thing about porn charges to my dad's credit card when he had not been trying to get any, and my mom was worried maybe something I did accidentally tried to buy porn or something, tho I've never tried to buy porn in my life! My mom was just worried that maybe it wasn't someone random trying to use my dad's credit card, or it wasn't just some random mishap, even tho my dad had already had that credit card shut off by now) I was SOOOO scared my dad was gonna like threaten to take away all my privileges and stuff (like iPod, computer, etc.), but he never said *anything* to me about it. My mom even said that all he might have said when she told him was clarifying I hadn't gone on porn on my school computer, which I had not. It was awkward to be around my dad at first cuz I was afraid he was gonna say something, and of course I felt weird since he knew, but now it's been a week or so and I don't feel weird around him anymore. :) Since I know you're big on telling someone your sins, I just wanted to tell you that I told my mom (and she told my dad) and that I told my mom I'd never watch it again! :)
    Heather (Svan)
    @Erin:
    on Friday, May 6, 2011 at 8:13 am
    @Erin: Erin, I'm freaking out again. Please tell me your opinion on that Bible verse!
    anon
    Re: my last comment
    on Friday, May 6, 2011 at 8:16 am
    Okay, I just wanted to say that I think it was Satan who sent me that dream, and the ones I had near the beginning of 2011, but if it was God who sent me those as a test or something, I did not mean to blasphemy the Holy Spirit and am sorry if that's what I accidentally did... I know it says we can't be forgiven of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, but if honestly confusing its works for Satan's is considered blasphemy, then I apparently have done that without meaning to, like I wasn't purposely saying that Jesus' works through the Holy Spirit were of Satan or anything like that; I just don't know if those dreams were sent to me from God/Jesus as a test, or from Satan to try and make me fall, or if they were just from me and my subconscious. I don't know, this comment probably doesn't make any sense but I just wanted to say that. I am gonna apologize to God/Jesus now in case I've done something wrong, and Heather -- I think I found the article you read about if Christians ARE worried they committed this sin, then they probably haven't cuz I just read one that said that -- but I'm still a little worried.
    anon
    Re: my last couple of comments
    on Friday, May 6, 2011 at 9:59 am
    Okay, I think I've figured it out -- hopefully: Okay, so I think I've come to the conclusion that the "unpardonable sin" about the Pharisees saying Jesus' works were of Satan, aka blasphemy against the holy Spirit -- well they were accusing Him of using the power of Satan to do his miracles, instead of the Holy Spirit. I am just confused on who gave me those dreams; if it was Jesus/God who sent them, then I am in no way saying He/They gave them to me using the power of Satan, not at all. So that was not blasphemy against the Holy Spirit! :)

    This article helped a lot: http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/unpardonablesin.html
    anon
    Re: Heather (Svan)
    on Friday, May 6, 2011 at 11:29 am
    Read this: http://www.raptureforums.com/forum/christian-chat/32107-unforgivable-sin-what-do-if-you-think-you-have-committed.html Hopefully it'll calm you down! :) <33
    Heather (Svan)
    @Erin: and @Anon:
    on Friday, May 6, 2011 at 11:30 am
    @Anon: I didn't mean to scare you with all my talk about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. While it is important that we always listen to the Holy Spirit's calling, the pastor I talked to today (yes, I went in again for the 3rd day in a row lol I keep allowing myself to doubt God's power and my salvation) this new pastor said that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is when you deliberately say that you don't want God in your life, anymore. Since you, Anon, have a desire to do God's will, then you probably haven't done this.
    I remember that debate we had involving the versions of the Bible. I accept your apology, but I think I need to apologize to you, too. I was holding to my belief about the versions of the Bible just because I wanted to be right. I didn't say anything out of conviction, but only because I was being self-righteous and I wanted to be the correct one. So when I rebuked you and told you that you weren't speaking with love, well, I wasn't either. So I apologize to you.
    Also, I struggled with idolatry for about 9 years or so with Harry Potter. Not a single, solitary moment went by when I wasn't thinking about Harry and Hermione being together forever and making stories in my head and reading fanfiction and such. So I know how hard it is to resist the want to love your idol. But just know that it is absolutely not worth it, at all! I gave up on God because of something fake that a human author wrote. But you don't value (is it Degrassi? I'm not sure which show it is) this show or character more than God. So I supposed ask God for help to focus on Him more than this show/character. I'll pray for you, too! And thank you for praying for me!!
    Also, I read about that dream you had. It's funny because the other night in my dream I was tempted to carry out the sexual acts that I am trying to avoid, now. I actually gave into it in my dream! I don't know if it was Satan or my own thoughts playing out, but either way, I was tempted and actually gave in in my dream! So I will pray for you about that, too.

    @Erin: I went in to the church again today (yes, for the 3rd day in a row) because I was having the same fears, again. I met with a new pastor (whose name I didn't even get) and he and Pastor Steve both say that God is using my new fear of hell to point me back in His own direction. So as for me, I'm going to go to church every Sunday, I'm going to read the Word (even though it scares me sometimes because while I read it, I doubt), and I'm going to listen to Christian music to replace the secular music I listen to. Also, I'm going to a recovery meeting tonight for people recovering from sexual addiction, and the pastor I talked to today told me that I should check out singles night on Wednesday. So I'm definitely going to be near God's people a lot, and after a while, if I have faith, I should get my love and emotions back (because I can't feel any love) and I'll get my remorse back (because I can't yet feel remorse for my ugly sins). I have a restored hope for the future (yes, for the 3rd day in a row, again =) and even though I'll probably doubt again, the pastor today reinforced in me that God loves me no matter what and no matter where I end up going. I am willing to return to God, step by step (even though I wish it could happen asap b/c I'm afraid) and I'm going to do whatever the Spirit tells me to do whenver I comes back to me. So please pray for me in my walk, Erin, Anon, and anyone else who can lend a prayer. Because I need it!
    Erin Davis
    Heather and Anon
    on Friday, May 6, 2011 at 3:11 pm
    Girls,

    First let me repeat that this blog is not the place for you to have all of your questions answered regarding God, faith, salvation and eternity. These are complex issues that require conversations, not just the limited back and forth dialogue that we have been having here using comments.

    I want to urge both of you to:
    1. Talk to your pastors
    2. Get plugged in to a church that teaches from God's Word.
    3. Talk to your parents.
    4. Seek out a Christian mentor who you can meet with regularly to talk through these issues.

    Also, it is clear to me that neither of you are rooted in God's Word. If you were, you would not be tossed back and forth by every feeling or thought or idea that you hear. It is so important that you look in God's Word for yourself and realize that your feelings are not the best barometer for determining what is real and what isn't.

    For example, you may feel condemned because of your past sins. But God's Word says this:

    Romans 8:1-3 says, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh."

    Isaiah 43:25 says “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more."

    There is no biblical evidence that there is a limit to God's forgiveness.

    In fact, in Matthew 18:22, Jesus encouraged followers to offer forgiveness "seventy times seven times." In other words keep on forgiving.

    Here's an interesting passage.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11 says, "Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. "

    Paul lists some pretty major sins here: sexual immorality, idolatry, adulterers, homosexuals, stealing, greed, drunkenness, slander...and Paul says to the church in Corinth " and that is what some of you were." But what are they now? washed...sanctified...justified! All sins can be forgiven even if they feel huge to you.

    Girls...I cannot talk you in to this. I cannot give you peace or wisdom. You are going to have to do the hard work to seek out God's Truth.

    I want to encourage you to check out two specific resources.
    1. Read or re-read "Lies Young Women Believe." This will teach you the process of identifying lies in your life and replacing them with God's Truth. This is a process that both of you need to learn.
    2. Check out this article from ROH radio. It is great proof that God is a God who freely offers forgiveness.

    http://www.reviveourhearts.com/radio/roh/today.php?pid=10469

    I am praying for you.

    Erin
    Heather (Svan)
    @Erin:
    on Friday, May 6, 2011 at 3:42 pm
    @Erin: I'm sorry for using your blog for counseling. Thank you for directing us to the Truth time and again. I've found a church that I'm part of, and while I'll still be visiting this blog often, I'll save the counseling for Pastor Steve and the other pastors at my church.

    Thank you, Erin!!!
    anon
    @Heather (Svan)
    on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 2:44 am
    I just wanted to tell you that I WILL be replying you your comment that is directly above Erin's, I just need to find the time to do so! :)
    Erin Davis
    Heather
    on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 5:28 pm
    I just wanted to take a moment to respond to your earlier comment where you asked about why more people aren't saved.

    First of all, I would warn you to avoid getting spiritual truths regarding the end times or rapture from the Internet. The bottom line is that no one knows when Jesus will return for us...He planned it that way. Please be very weary of someone who says they know when the rapture will be and then attaches a statistic to it like "only 3% of the world's population will be saved."

    However, I do want to point out that a verbal confession that Jesus died does not necessarily indicate heart change. It requires confession plus true belief that you are a sinner and that Jesus paid the ransom for your sin not simply lip service.

    Jesus said this about true belief. “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

    Do not be surprised that not everyone recognizes Jesus as Savior. Even when He was on the earth performing daily miracles few realized He was God. That doesn't make Him any less God or your faith in Him any less valid.

    Hope this helps.

    Erin
    Heather (Svan)
    @Erin:
    on Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 10:58 pm
    @Erin: I'm noticing a pattern: Every time I go to the interent for answers to my questions about God, I find something else to freak out about. The 3% statistic really scared me because I'm not in the top 3% best Christians in the world.You're right when you say that the internet is not the place to go.

    I saw the May 21st date prediction for the first time passing one of those signs on the highways (idk if that's only around here, but those guys were on our new the other night telling everyone that May 21st is the end of the world). My church doesn't believe that. They even have stickers that say "May 21st: Open for business as usual" lolololol
    But I will admit that on May 21st I will be a bit nervous... and probably for the next week or two.

    I think I'm going to be okay. That Hebrews verse is still going to scare me all the time, about how you can't return to repentance once you've left b/c you're making a mockery of Jesus' sacrifice, but I think I'm going to be fine: I believe Jesus was the son of God, who died on the cross for our sins, and I have a desire to live according to God's law. That is enough. And besides, I think God keeps leading me back to my church b/c he truly wants me back. And I am glad to be back!
    anon
    Re: Heather
    on Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 2:25 am
    Heather,

    Well I'm finally replying to your comment! Lol. :) I've been feeling better about the whole "unforgivable sin" and "blasphemy of the Holy Spirit" things. I found an article online that explained Hebrews 6:4-6 by first going back into chapter 5, and I realized that what it was *really* saying did not apply to me. I also realized the passages about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit don't apply to me.

    I really appreciate your apology about the whole Bible version debate, and I accept it. :)

    It's nice to know someone else has struggled with idolatry in the same ways I have/do, like with making up stories in my head and stuff - I'm really happy you overcame your idolatry, by the way! :) The name of the show I have idolization issues with is Winx Club, by the way, and the specific character that I've had such an obsession /idolization problem with is Icy (I wasn't substituting "witch" for a different word; she literally *is* an evil witch lol. Winx a cartoon show about magic and fairies and witches and stuff - I know, I'm so cool. :P). I REALLY wish Winx weren't coming to Nick this year. :( I will do what you suggested by asking God to help me focus on Him more than Winx/Icy. Thanks for the suggestion! And thanks so much for the prayers!

    Hmm so we both like got tempted in our dreams?? Weird! Thanks for the prayers in that area, as well, and *I'll* pray for *you* in that area, too.

    I will be praying for you in the area of dreams, and in the areas of your walk with God in general.

    God bless!

    xoxo.
    Erin Davis
    Heather
    on Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 3:28 pm
    Exactly what verse in Hebrews are you referring to?

    Erin
    Heather (Svan)
    @Erin:
    on Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 4:19 pm
    @Erin: I'm talking about this one:

    As for those people who were once brought into the light, and tasted the gift from Heaven, and received a share of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the goodness of God’s message and the powers of the world to come and yet in spite of this have fallen away--it is impossible for them to be brought into the freshness of repentance a second time, since they are crucifying the Son of God again for themselves, and making a public execution of him.

    -- Hebrews 6:4-6

    That passage scared me because I used to be very, very close to God when I was younger, but then I strayed horibbly so that I couldn't hear God's Holy Spirit. I thought He took it away from me, and like I said I was remorseless for the horrible things I had done (I still am, but that's another thing in itself). And according to this passage, I can't be brought back to God or have His Holy Spirit, again. That makes sense, because you only get the Spirit once.

    However, if that is the true message of the passage, then there exists a contradiction in the Bible, because the parable of the prodigal son says that God takes people back after they mess up...really bad.

    So I think (or I really want to think) that the passage means that if someone was close to God and then turned away, they can't be *brought* back to repentance, but they can *choose* to come back to God if they want to.

    I realize I was wrong. I don't feel the remorse, but I genuinely want that relationship with God back in my life. I'm not at all close with Him, but I think that if I want to come back, then I can rebuild this relationship. Also, I believe that there's evidence that God is working in my life. It's not a coincidence that I met with Pastor Steve and Pastor John. If I was cut off from God forever, why would He be involved in my life setting me up with these people to help me?

    I hope I'm right in my interpretation of this passage because I don't want to be a walking dead woman =(
    Vic
    Heather (Svan)
    on Monday, May 16, 2011 at 8:02 pm
    Hey,
    Heather I just wanted to tell you I'm praying for you. Even though I have never met you and I'm probably much younger then you I know prayer can leave a huge impact. On the Weighing in On the Beebs post you said you have turned you life back over to God. That is AMAZING stories like this remind me of our saviors saving grace and love. Was the comment there before of after this one? So I love you (In Christ) and I hope he continues to reveal his truths in His word to you as you seek to press into and know God.
    In Christ, Vic <3
    Heather (Svan)
    @Erin:
    on Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at 11:13 am
    @Erin: Do you think that passage means something else?
    anon
    To Heather
    on Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 8:34 am
    Hey Heather - look, it's one day after May 21 and the world didn't end! :D That guy was a false prophet, cuz look:

    "But of that day and hour [Judgement Day] no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only." ~Matthew 24:36

    So don't worry when people pick dates for the world to end, they *cannot* "calculate" it, because the Bible says only God knows. :)
    Heather (Svan)
    Re:
    on Monday, May 23, 2011 at 10:24 pm
    @Vic: This comment came after the one where I said I turned my life over to God. That's because for a few days I still grappled over the genuinity of God's work in my life and my salvation. (Satan still had a tight hold on me--but I think God allowed me to linger in doubt so that I would know for sure that God was the One in charge and that I wasn't under an illusion--gradual is better). Now I'm still not sure what that Hebrews verse means that had me so wound up, but I don't even really care anymore because what's true and happening right now is that God is *definitely* working in my life. If I couldn't be forgiven, God wouldn't be working in my life. But because He is, then no matter what I think or feel or fear, God must still love me and forgive me and want me back.
    So many events that have occurred to me in the past few weeks have been divinely planned..so God absolutely must be working in my life, and if He is working in my life then that means that even though I turned from Him, this whole time He's been just reeling me back in.

    And you know what's really cool? Last night I was thinking about the ways God was working in my life even *before* I turned back to Him. Without me even realizing at the time that God was working in my life, He really was-- I just couldn't see it. It just makes me stand back in wonder..God never, ever left me, even though I left Him. He freely forgives me and takes me back. That's just pure love because I don't deserve anything, any love or forgiveness from God, but there it is. We have an *awesome* God.

    ^Sorry if some of that doesn't make sense lol but if feels good to type it all out =P

    @Anon: haha You're right! I just feel bad for the people who spent all their life savings and wasted so much time because of a "miscalculation" (or what you wish to call it-- I don't want to call that a lie b/c I think pastor whats-his-name actually believed his preaching). But I thank God for allowing all those billboards to be put up and all that hype to go around because I think He used that to wake me up and bring me back to Him. Our God is so amazing. Who wouldn't want to put their life into His hands?

    And thus ends another post from a co-queen of ultra-long posts =D lolololol
    anon
    Re: Heather
    on Monday, May 30, 2011 at 12:57 pm
    Well that's cool - God used something a false prophet was advertizing to get your attention! It's awesome when God has something good result out of sin! :D

    I had a very bad time for a few days last week, with just giving in to my Winx Club sin - the commercial has now aired on Nick about it coming to Nick this June. :'( That's what got me back into it, see for a while last week I'd been taking your advice about asking God to help me focus more on Him than Winx, and it'd been working tremendously - so thank you! - but now that I knew about the commercial (my little sis told me) I was curious about who is voicing which character and all this stuff. So I looked a bunch of stuff up and what not and I felt so horrible I wasn't gonna be able to watch it.

    So I guess I just decided like Thursday night that I was gonna watch at least the one hour special, then apologize to God, all the while giving into my Winx Club thoughts - but yesterday both the Sunday school lesson and the church sermon were God giving me a much-needed wake up call!!

    The Sunday school class was about "bearing fruit" to prove you really ARE a Christian cuz without "fruit" you're not, and the sermon was based around 1 Corinthians 10:13, which says about God always having a route of escape for you when you're being tempted. Well it was killing me to know I wasn't gonna be able to watch Winx when it airs on Nick so I had just been giving in to my thoughts and stuff for a few days as I told you, but that verse speaks to me. He'll provide a way of escape for me.

    And my preacher gave some advice that went something like this during the sermon: When Satan's tempting you, start telling Him how great God is. Talk to him about God and what God has done for you and how He's blessed you and share your testimony with him, and he's gonna flee from you cuz he can't stand hearing about God. (Use that advice when you are tempted about whatever it is Satan throws at you - it works! Read on to see what I mean.)

    Well yesterday after church I just wasn't thinking about Winx because the message of the class + sermon was still really working in me, but today I was getting tempted. So guess what? I've been taking my preacher's advice today, and it's been working! :D Woohoo! It's cool to think of Satan literally running away from you just because He doesn't wanna hear you talk about God haha. XD TAKE THAT, SATAN! XD

    Also, I've been trying to not watch Nick at all so I won't feel like I'm dying inside if I'd happen to see a commercial for Winx, or backtrack and decide I'll just watch the one-hour special then not watch Winx anymore (which I probably WOULD end up watching it again), or something like that, so yeah. I REALLY wish Winx weren't coming to Nick, cuz it coming to Nick will make staying away from it a whole lot harder than it already is (though staying away hasn't seemed hard today!), but God is gonna help me, and He already is helping me! :)

    Some really great songs that I was listening to on my iPod yesterday are "Wasting Time" and "Let Go," both by RED. They are a Christian rock band, and those two songs are directed towards Satan. I LOOOOOVE "Let Go," because it's so true. I LOVE the lines where the singer is like growling, "You can't have me anymore." So powerful! You should check out those songs sometime. :)

    Well I just wanted to share this all with you, my fellow LYWB Queen of Ultra-Long Posts! Hahaha. :) Later!
    Lorree
    Heather
    on Thursday, June 2, 2011 at 3:08 pm
    Erin asked me to respond to your post about the Hebrews passage:

    Hey Heather,

    It is important for you to know the context of the scriptures that seem to be causing you fear. The book of Hebrews was written to Jewish believers. These early believers were enduring much persecution for believing in Christ and were being tempted to return to the old sacrificial law. They were choosing to forsake the gift of salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus (new covenant) by returning to the old sacrificial system (the old covenant). By returning to the observance of the law, they were in essence “crucifying Christ” again or “spurning Christ” by saying He wasn’t the Messiah and what He did on the cross was not enough – they needed more. The author of Hebrews was attempting to get them to really think about what they were doing and choose not to return to outward ritual when they can have the inward personal reality of Christ in their lives. Once we have received Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are redeemed and no one can snatch us out of the Father’s hands (Jn. 10:28-29).

    There isn’t any sin that is too great for God to forgive. It is for the sins you have committed in your past and those sins you will still commit in your future that God sent Jesus to earth. Jesus died to rescue you from the penalty of sin and He lives to restore a right relationship with God.

    Keep speaking to your pastors about this, Heather! God loves you and is actively involved in your life to draw you into a right relationship with Him.

    Lorree
    Heather (Svan)
    Re:
    on Monday, June 20, 2011 at 12:28 pm
    @anon: Sorry, I just saw your last post just now. (I'm only a month late lol). That's some really cool advice your pastor gave you. I think I'll try that next time I'm tempted. I remember one of my Christian friends said that 1 Corinthians 10:13 is her favorite verse. She struggles with alcohol, but she says that whenever she's tempted, she remembers that there is always a way out, and that knowledge really helps her. But I really like your advice to talk to satan about how awesome God is, and I think I'll tell the girls at my church to try it out too!

    I hope you've been able to stay away from Nick since your last post. I'll pray for you! I know it's really difficult to stay away from an idol you've created, so props to you for taking a stand against it!

    And I'll def check out those songs. I've been looking for some more great Christian music. I got rid of all the Rihanna, Lady GaGa, and Nicki Minaj, and what not on my ipod so I only have a few songs from Casting Crowns and Hillsong United left=P Oh, and I have this CD I got from Revive Our Hearts! I donated to them about a month-ish ago, and they gave me a CD called Hidden in My Heart. It's a CD of lullabyes (lullabies?) set to scripture. I turn it on when I go to bed at night so that God's Word will really sink in. Idk if you would be interested in something like that, but I love it<3333
    Heather (Svan)
    Re:
    on Monday, June 20, 2011 at 12:41 pm
    @Loree: That makes a lot of sense. I think one of the pastors I spoke with at my church said something like that, but I was so set on believing that I couldn't be forgiven that I don't think I really listened to what he said.

    But you know, in a way I think I was doing that. I was trying to find some way in which I could make myself good enough for God again. It wasn't enough to just repent-- I felt like if I wanted to be okay with God again that I had to do something to earn His forgiveness. But since then, God has really laid it on my heart that the price has been paid for my sins. I am redeemed! And I guess that's what faith and a relationship with God really is- because if I could earn my way to heaven, then I wouldn't need Jesus; and if I needed tangible proof that I was saved, then there would be no faith.

    I was at first afraid to read your response to my question, because I was afraid you would say that one can't be forgiven their sins if they sin too far and for too long. But you said quite the opposite! (And the Truth, I should say). So I suppose I really needed to hear this, to finally put this issue to full rest.

    Thank you, Loree, for taking your time out to help me uncover the Truth. I appreciate it =)

    XoXo,
    Heather Svancara
    Heather (Svan)
    Re:
    on Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 7:36 pm
    @Erin: Hey! I posted a reply to Lorree a few days ago, but I don't see it. Did you get it? It's no big deal if you didn't. I can just retype a shorter version lol
    Erin Davis
    Heather
    on Friday, June 24, 2011 at 2:42 pm
    Oops. I must have missed that one. Sorry. It is up now and I have forwarded it to Loree.

    Thanks!

    Erin
    Erin Davis
    Heather
    on Saturday, June 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm
    No worries. And...you're welcome. I am glad that God has used this website to strengthen and encourage you.

    Grace and Peace!

    Erin
    anon
    @Heather
    on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 4:24 pm
    Hey girl!

    Sorry, I saw your reply in June but never got around to writing back until now - sorry 'bout that! And don't feel bad about replying late - I'm replying exactly a month late. XD

    So I have WONDERFUL news: I have been healed from my Winx Club obsession! Like for real, in 8 days it will have been a full month I've been healed! :D Before, it would be every two or three days I relapsed! Now it has been nearly a MONTH that I have been without the obsession! And it's all thanks to the Lord & His grace! <3 I am so happy! :'D

    It's an interesting story - I actually watched the Winx premiere on Nick, and there was SO much that they'd changed, and in their version I didn't feel a strong attachment to my face witch, and by the time it was over and I read other Winx fans' thoughts on it on a Winx fansite, I realized I wasn't obsessed anymore. I was like, "Wait a minute, is this Gods way of... :O whoa, God rocks!" So then I quickly asked for His grace over the whole Winx Club obsession (I'd already done this once, then purposely messed up again), and ever since, I have been HEALED! <3 Like, God KNEW I wasn't going to obey, and so through my disobedience, He healed me! :O :D I mean, I'm obviously not trying to encourage people to be like, "I can disobey and do whatever I want cuz God will fix everything eventually." Obviously we are supposed to obey! I'm just saying that even when we *dis*obey, He always has a way to make things work. How AWESOME is that?! :D

    So I haven't been obsessed for nearly a MONTH - big change from before! - and that feels SO AMAZING. I've had a few times where I messed up with thinking about it for a few seconds or a few minutes, or a couple of other ways, but every time I then apologized to God and asked for His forgiveness, and got back on track. :) And I haven't looked up anything about it, nor will I be watching the second 1-hour special in August, or any of the other specials or episodes Nick makes. I AM HEALED! :D Praise + thank the Lord for His grace! <33

    The main thing I want everyone reading this to learn: We CANNOT, I repeat CANNOT, break sinful addictions or obsessions ourselves; only God can heal us from them. So what does that mean I've discovered the sweet truth to of what we have to do to be healed from them, and set free from them? ASK GOD FOR HIS GRACE OVER THE ISSUE YOU'RE STRUGGLING WITH! You're reading the words of a girl who was obsessed with an ungodly TV show for 6 or 7 years of her life, and you would not even begin to believe how many times she tried to stop and break the addiction. But she (I) couldn't; I only became healed when GOD healed me!

    I am so glad I finally got around to replying to you, and I LOVE sharing this story; it is one that totally and fully glorifies God, and I LOVE sharing how He healed me! <3 The full story is longer, like there's more details, such as about what happened on the days that lead up to the day the first 1-hour special aired and such - let me just say: those days were so sinful and *not* good! - but what I've typed above are the main parts of this miraculous story. <3

    Aside from my story - wow, that's awesome about your friend who struggles with alcohol! :) I just said a prayer for her. :)

    And sure, no prob. I know a TON of Christian artists/bands! Here are some if you wanna check them out: BarlowGirl, Skillet, Flyleaf, Group 1 Crew, RED, Thousand Foot Krutch, Superchick, Matthew West, Jonny Diaz, Lifehouse (their song "Sick Cycle Carousel" is beautiful, and is about the lesson I learned about giving up idols; we are only freed from them when we ask God for His grace about them <3), Joy Williams, Natalie Grant, KJ-52, Newsboys, The Afters, Third Day, Fireflight ("Forever" is BEAUTIFUL <3), I think 'The Fray' is Christian, Disciple, & Family Force 5. That should give you some variety! LOL. :)

    I hope you have been doing well, and I love you as a sister - a sister in CHRIST! :D <33

    xoxo.
    Janet
    Re:
    on Friday, March 2, 2012 at 12:06 am
    I am so happy I found this blog. It's a true blessing.
    Esther
    Bible camp
    on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at 3:49 pm
    Off topic* But read. You might be interested. Almost every year i go to this Bible Camp. Its a different topic every year. What i like about this camp is that it is full of Christians ready to learn but there is also a fun part to it. You don't have to be a Christian. Ages are from 8-18. If you are 18 and up you can be a counselor. You can still be a Camper if you like too. Here is the Website. Check it out. The camp cost $425. You don't have to pay it all. You can pay 25, 50, 55, 80.What ever you have. This year i only paid a little. If you don't pay it all, you write a letter to the person who donated the money to you. They provide you with paper and pens. You get divided into age group cabins , so if you16, you wont be with 12 year olds, you'll be with 14,15, 16. Check out the Website. Tell your mom, your dad, your brothers and sisters. http://www.northeastfccamp.com/index.html


    Youll be glad you came. The director of the camp is Gardner hall. This year on the 4th of July, i got baptized. The topic this year was love. I cant wait to find out about next year. There is also a camp just for girls, this august. The topic is, choose today whom you will serve. Aside from that, we are going to learn how to be faithful to our husbands in the future and how to cook and be holy women. You can contact Gardner Hall on the same website. Only Girls.

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