Ride the Wave

Have you ever felt frustrated or discouraged because you wonder if you’re operating fully in your God-given gifts and talents for the glory of God? Me too! You’re not alone! Sometimes I get down on myself and wonder if I’m procrastinating, disobeying or suppressing the gifts God has given me. God has implanted so much vision and so many projects in me that sometimes I get overwhelmed and fall into analysis paralysis. (Anyone else?!)  Sometimes the desire is there but the inspiration and motivation is not and I feel like I’m apart from God.


I was fortunate enough to connect recently with one of my sisters in Christ as she expressed the same feelings of frustration and discouragement. She also happens to be a gifted writer and has been feeling like she’s not “doing” enough with her gift and hasn’t been inspired to write.

In her transparency, I found comfort as I too have been feeling the same way. As she was expressing her heart, the question came upon me. I felt like it was a question I needed to process myself. I asked her: “Do you feel you produce your best work in a systematic, disciplined way or do you operate best in spurts of spontaneous creativity?”

She said, “Oh no, I’m so not a Type-A, rigid kind of person. I am creative and think outside the box and go with the flow.”

 

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That’s when it dawned on me!

Some people are wired to develop a discipline to strategically carve out time to operate in their gifting. For some this works exceptionally well. I admit I’ve been trying to make myself adhere to this same type of method. I set alarms on my calendar to write for at least one hour each day but I’ve been noticing the past few months that each time this alert happens prompting me to write, I feel discouraged and as if I’m disobeying my own well-thought-out plan. I feel like I’m failing myself and God because I’m not always feeling particularly inspired by the Holy Spirit to write. So...I just don’t write anything at all. And then I feel bad about it.

But in all fairness, not everyone is wired this way. Sometimes inspiration comes in waves.

It made me think of my dad who loves to surf.

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I realized he doesn’t just grab his board and flop it in the ocean at any given moment when he feels like catching some waves and expect that his showing up with the desire to ride would somehow push the waves.

First, he researches the waves, the swells, the direction of the wind, the rhythm of the water and he strategically goes to the places with ideal surfing conditions. 

If the water isn’t right, there’s no sense in dropping in his board. If he did, he’d be out there for hours not catching a single wave and then leave feeling like it was a total waste of time.

 

This helped me realize that if our desire is to produce quality work to bring glory to God, then sometimes we must wait for the wave of inspiration to come upon us.

 
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As for me, last year I felt like the Lord put me on creative restriction. Deep in my spirit I heard that I was going to embark on a season of writing as He was going to be downloading messages in me at a rapid rate but He made it clear that I was not to publish anything until He gives me a distinct green light. He just wanted me to be ready to record what He’s revealing to me and be patient with the process. Last year, I’ve recorded over 100 pieces of writing. They’re fragmented, unedited, and raw. But the writings don’t come to me in my dedicated 7am writing slot. They come to me at random times.

The revelation I received was to ride the wave of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (even if that means He wakes me up at 3am with a burning message) and then use other dedicated time to go back and edit, revise, tailer and button up my work and operate with an editor's mindset. And then wait for the proper time to publish. 

 

Embrace Your Grace

Understand we're all designed differently and His grace is sufficient for us to carry out His perfect purpose on our lives. Some are more disciplined people that strategically carving out their time and do great work by their dedicated system that works well for them. Because that's how God wired them. For those of us that are spontaneous and "out of the box" kind of people, we look at this with envy and think something must be wrong with us because we can’t just do it how they do it. The key is to recognize and embrace how He’s developed you and not fight the process.

What works for one may not work for you and that’s perfectly okay. There’s no right or wrong. God developed us each differently and in the likeness of His image. Let’s not get entangled by trying to be someone we’re not.


 

Which do you think is more God-glorifying?

To write 5 new pieces in one day...all inspired by Holy Spirit -or-  1 piece for 5 days without Divine inspiration?!

 

Let’s say you’re an artist, musician, songwriter, or blogger…

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Wouldn’t it be unrealistic to believe that you’ll be under divine inspiration and overflowing with creativity and revelation every single day at the particular time you've carved out time to express your craft? 

 

 

Unrealistic expectation increases the margin for disappointment and discouragement

 

So here I say, GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK, FRIEND! God loves your heart and desires to work through the gifts He's given you to bless this world. Just know that He'll do it in His timing and it's perfectly acceptable to simply "ride the wave" of creativity when it comes upon you, withhold your work until you're divinely prompted to publicize it and even stack up the vault of work for release in His appointed time. 

 

Bible Sale!

Lifeway Christian Stores is having their Annual Bible Sale! 

What's your favorite translation? 

I spent most of my years learning from the NIV. The #1 study bible I recommend to literally EVERYONE is the Life Application Study Bible.  My dear friend, Noelle recommended it to me about 7 years ago and it literally changed EVERYTHING for me! 

 

Change it up! 

I found myself a couple years ago becoming a bit too "familiar" with the NIV translation. (Which is a beautiful thing, right?!)...but what I mean is I found myself not as hungry and excited to get in the word, my study became a bit stale, I began to take it for granted because a somewhat significant amount of scripture had taken root in the soil of my soul that  I was able to memorize and recall regularly...but I never want to become SUCH a #NerdOfTheWord that I am not stretching myself to see it from different angles to always keep my heart in a posture of receiving it's beauty and vibrancy. 

I decided to pick up the ESV and NLT translations to help me see His Word through a new lens. If you've been studying the Bible for years and are feeling like it's not as "alive" in you as it once was, I recommend picking up a new translation. Sometimes reading it with new words will awaken a new passion within you. Try it! 

 

She Reads Truth

Many friends of mine have been LOVING the "She Reads Truth" bible. 

 

What's your favorite translation? How long have you had your bible?

Pray for Las Vegas

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After enjoying another incredible Sunday serving my local church and celebrating a new location opening in November I crashed out exhausted with a heart full of joy and excitement for all that God is doing in our city, in our nation, and around the world. 

It was an absolute shock to receive a message from one of our incredible young leaders in our messaging app that her friend was in attendance of the Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival in Vegas. "There was a shooting in Las Vegas at a concert. My friend is there hiding and trying to get to safety! Please pray for the whole city of Vegas!!!!" Another one of our college leaders is from Las Vegas, her family is in ministry there and to hear this horrific event took place in her own hometown is devastating. We also got reports from another leader that a friend of her niece is fighting for her life. 

This event was shocking to us all. I found myself completely unable to work or function. I spent the entire day in prayer literally on the ground under a blanket just approaching our Father directly interceding for all involved. I called another intercessor friend and confessed that I was just completely unable to work and that all I wanted to do was devote the day in prayer. 

Sometimes we just need to submit to that reality. Sometimes that's the BEST thing we can do. Sometimes we have to put down the tasks and to-do lists and just hit the ground. Sometimes we have to shut off the TV and unglue our eyes from social media and just "be" with the victims, families, medics, and all involved in a unified spirit of prayer. Sometimes we have to sacrificially set aside our own agendas, preferences, opinions, and feelings and just simply pour our love and strength into the situation with intercessory prayer. 

We have to understand the power of which we are given by the Holy Spirit and how necessary it is to align our hearts, minds, and spirits with God's heart. Knowing full well that His heart is breaking even more than ours. Destruction, devastation, division, discord, SIN was never in His beautiful plan. 

In the wake of tragedies like these, two realities surface:

  1. Some who have put God on the peripheral of their lives will begin to call out to Him.
  2. Others will reject God and blame Him for the sin of what evil introduced. 

Let's be sensitive to both. Let's be the safe place people can come to process and find healing especially when that means they vent outrage, anger, and confusion toward our loving Father. Let's not be afraid to engage with hurting people and give them space to process how they will. Let's be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19). Let's learn to be okay without having the perfect thing to say. Sometimes those that are hurting don't want advice as much as they want a warm embrace and compassionate support. 

Let's Connect! 

I believe in the power of prayer. I find it more honorable to pray WITH people rather tha just FOR people. If you're in need of a prayer partner, an ear to hear, a place to process...please...reach out to me. I will stand with you! 

The Blessing of the Bible Amidst Modern Day Persecution

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I have a confession. My name is Heather and I'm addicted to the Word. 

Sometimes I just relish in the fascination of the privilege we have as free people to get to have and hold onto the Holy written Word of God! Why is this such a big deal? Well beyond the fact that the Bible is the most purchased and most controversial book ever to be recorded, modern-day persecution is still very real. It may not be as prevalent in American territory, but after doing some investigation...it's still a very real and astonishing epidemic: 

According to an article by Fox News World, a study was conducted by the Center for Studies on New Religion in 2016 found:

  • Christians continued to be the most persecuted group across the globe in 2016
  • 600 million Christians were prevented from practicing their faith in 2016

According to Open Doors USA:

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  • According to The Pew Research Center, over 75% of the world’s population lives in areas with severe religious restrictions (and many of these people are Christians). 
  • According to the United States Department of State, Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution from their governments or surrounding neighbors simply because of their belief in Jesus Christ.

 

Let's let that sink in. We are among the minority 25% of the planet that is not considered severely religiously restrictive as America is still considered to be a Christian majority nation. Yet, in another article by Fox News U.S titled, "Discrimination of Christians in America"

"Some 63 percent of Americans agree that Christians are increasingly confronted with intolerance in America, according to a LifeWay Research study conducted via phone surveys in 2015."

 


My goal here is not to light a political debate or strike a match on feelings and opinions. I was just personally curious to find some cold, hard facts. Persecution is real. Oppression and discrimination among many races, religions, regions and personal value systems are real. 

I'm simply suggesting to you that we not take for granted the freedom we've been given in our country and to encourage (put courage into) you to stay the course and stand strong and united as One Church under God because if we allow ourselves to become lukewarm, we run the risk of slow but steady violation of rights. It's been happening and will continue to happen as prophesied in the Bible. THAT is why, Dearest Friend, I want to charge you to get to know this ancient compilation of writings and letters and understand it with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 

Get in the Word so the Word will get in YOU! 

But MORE than knowing the Word, get into a deep, intimate relationship with the Author and Creator of the universe! Because the truth is, "all of the Bible is in God, but not all of God is in the Bible." In other words, read beyond the words, go on a journey to understand the context and the history and the HEART of our Father. As you know, there are false prophets and deceivers and they don't always roam around looking like big scary demons in the movies...The enemy is only able to successfully deceive when He uses tactics like he did on Eve in the Garen (Genesis) or like the crap he tried to pull on Jesus Himself. We can't run the risk of allowing the Deceiver, the Accuser of the Brethren, the Father of Lies to know the Word better than we do, right?

Don't just hold it in your hands, hold it in your heart! It's your sword, your weapon...not to be misused by slicing off the ears of our oppressors or to bash other Christians because they may differ in the gray areas of theology (because that would make us like Pharisaical hypocrites)...but rather, knowing how and when to wield our sword realizing that:

For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. -Ephesians 6:12

But I get it. I get MANY messages from readers that Bible reading is a challenge. Some say it's hard to understand. Others say they don't get how it relates to modern life...I totally get it. You're not alone. It's not like I flew out of the womb with an addiction to the Word, it's become an insatiable thirst the more I get in, the deeper I want to go. I believe the same will be true for you. 

If you're having a hard time understanding the value of the Bible or would like some tips, suggestions, assistance, etc. PLEASE reach out. It would be my HONOR to connect you with things that have REALLY helped me in my study and understanding. 

  1. Find me on the YouVersion Bible App. (I talk more about this in Is it a PRAYER Problem or a PRAISE Problem &
  2. Send me a message. I'd love to connect! 

Let's Connect! 

Tell me how about your Bible reading journey? What tools, tips and resources have been helpful to you?

Encouragement in Chapter 4 of "Stay the Path"

"The world is in need of many things- peace, hope, discernment, answers- but what this complex and wonderful world needs most is a global church full of genuine Christ followers who have an ear to His Spirit...an ear that can bring the goodness and kindness of God into the backyard of every neighborhood, village, city and nation, ears that can hear the "prophetic heart of God" for people- again, not in a weird and strange way, but in a gracious way that arrests the human soul, enabling people to discover that there truly is a God in Heaven who believes in them."  -Bobbie Houston, Stay the Path

 

 

 

Such a timely reminder for us all, isn't it?

The truth is, we don't have to search for troubling information. It's introduced to us by clicking on the news, opening up our social media and in our own personal lives. There are global tragedies, national disasters, controversy, and personal battles we all face. But what this book passage petitions us all is to readjust our focus. Are WE as the Church keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus and attuning our ears to His Spirit? Sure we have to engage and (sometimes) respond to the afflictions of this world...but for me, I choose to use my voice to not spew my opinions more than I attempt to be a voice of love and truth to help point people back to The Way. And yes, it's hard. Really hard. 

Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. - Colossians 3:2

But may I just suggest to those of you who know Jesus and journey through His Word...we're in a battle; this is war. Sinners sin. And we know the end...there is victory found in Jesus. Let's engage above all else with the Great Commission

The Good News is we have the answer to death, destruction, depression, and decay...JESUS! He is the Way, The Truth, and The Life (John 14:6). We have the Holy Spirit, our Guide, Comforter, and Advocate. We have the Holy Word of God. And we have each other, the Church, the community of believers. 

Let's not be wavering in faith, flailing around like a fart in the wind, tossed like waves in a raging sea....we can stand and #LIVEUNSHAKEABLE! 

How to ensure we're keeping our focus:

  1. Stay in community (Church)
  2. Invest in intentional time in the study of God's word
  3. Prayer is POWERFUL! 

Preorder Christine Caine's new 365-day devotional, Unshakable releasing October 24, 2017! 

 

 

 

Redirection

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Isn't it crazy how life is? We sometimes cruise down a path at remarkable speeds toward a life we think we desire but it's ultimately taking us farther away from our true Divine purpose.

Destruction often starts off subtle ya know, just a slight switch off at first can result in a completely crazy journey that leads you farther away the further you go.....#BUTGOD He's always there; faithfully.

It's up to us to make the decision to stop the chaos and switch direction (repent) and He promises to clearly illuminate the path of His perfect will with peace and clarity, unmistakable.

I'm so thankful I was brave enough to switch my path. Alcohol, sex...none of it satisfied. It actually robbed me of joy, peace and true security.. It's true, ya know, He does bless obedience. I'm living proof. #PreachinIt #TellTheWorld #GodIsGood#JesusJesusJesus #Delivered #SetFeee#SetApart

The Messy Middle

I was so challenged recently after sitting under the incredible teaching of Paul Scanlon in "Growing Big People" seminar and his stretching sermon at Hillsong Phoenix on Sunday September 10, 2017 entitled, "The Agony of Divine Delay"

Recently I came to realize the style of my writing has changed drastically from writing from personal experience to more of an informative, article-type writing. Although I do pray that all I publish is God-glorifying and helpful to all readers, I fear that I am missing the opportunity to share my heart with by allowing you, Dear Reader to see into the full reality of my life experience. 

 

The truth is, I don't "have it all together" and I would never want to portray that I'm some bulletproof, fearless and fail-proof expert at life. Ha! Far from it! 

 

I wrote in HeatherFerroni.com...REALLY?! that I desire more to be known well rather than be well known. So, forgive me if I've painted an inaccurate representation and created a valley rather than building a bridge between us. 

I recently took a HUGE leap of faith and resigned from my job to embark on a new chapter of my career path. I willingly left the security of a salary to work independently and start my own company (Elite TC Solutions). Although I am confident it was the right decision to make at the right time, it's no less frightening. 

 

Well-meaning Christians sometimes inadvertently propose that faith and fear cannot exist together. Well, I'm here to confirm, that is simply just not true!

 

In the waiting period of moving out of my job and into my new assignment, I spent a lot of time in prayer and reflection. The Lord brought me back to the "Hall of Faith" in Hebrews 11:

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see    -Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

I'd be lying if I said the voice of the Accuser didn't offer me negative thoughts and that the spirit of fear didn't try to consume me with thoughts like "What are you thinking?! What if this plan doesn't work? You might fail and end up broke and destitute." ...But I had to (and have to continually) choose to be anchored in the truth and promises of God's word. 

As I read on Hebrews 11 and reflected on others in the Bible, I recounted the stories of: 

Moses, Abel, Enoch, NoahAbraham, Sarah, Joseph, David, Joshua, Obediah, Elijah, Jonah, the people of Israel, Rahab, Mary Magdalene, the 12 disciples, Paul, Timothy, and JESUS! 

  • How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. (Hebrews 11:32)

We'd be foolish to assume none of these historical power-player people of God weren't afraid. They endured battles, fears, opposition, war, threats, persecution and eventually death yet persisted despite their fear without having a clue what the next chapter contained. In fact, we learn that many of these people actually didn't receive the promises of God this side of Heaven. They persisted anyway. And I believe that we can borrow strength and courage from their stories to encourage us on our path when we face terrifying trials.

"We need champions from this zone. We need heroes in the middle to stand up and say 'I don't know what the outcome is'" -Paul Scanlon
 

So here I confess...I don't know what is contained within the pages of this next chapter of my life. 

 

I just know I am choosing to persist in faith, with confidence that God is in complete control. He hasn't failed me yet and He wouldn't give me clearance to leave this last job without already being in my future, already at work orchestrating new connections, supplying me with supernatural strength, courage and wisdom with my next steps. So, instead of anxiety, I'm choosing excitement to embark on this new adventure. I may not see the entire staircase, but He's illuminated my next step. With the Word of God in my heart, I know:

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. -Psalm 119:105

I write this as a prophetic declaration of faith for myself to reflect back on AND to let you know that if you're in the messy middle...your message is in the making! I write this to encourage (to put courage into) you that there is The God of Heaven who loves you and desperately desires to meet you right where you are and walk with you. The way to Him is choosing to surrender your life to Jesus, the Prince of Peace as your Lord and Savior and when you do, you will gain immediate and irrevocable access to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, your Guide, Counselor, Advocate, and Intercessor. 

If you'd like to surrender your life to Christ, click on the button above. And please, reach out to me. Know that I am available to walk with you through this decision and it would be my honor to stand with you in prayer in whatever you are going through. I won't try to "fix" you. I won't pretend to have all the answers to your problems. But I will be your judgment-free friend to show you the grace and mercy of Jesus. 

Let's Connect! 

BIG Kingdom Projects

I am so very honored to get to participate in some BIG Kingdom projects in the Phoenix area and beyond! I want to include YOU, Dearest Beloved to join me on these exciting endeavors! 

Stay the Path

My local church is participating together as a #Sisterhood as we journey together through Pastor Bobbie Houston's newest book, Stay the Path: Navigating the Challenges and Wonders of Life, Love and Leadership. If you're in the Phoenix area, I encourage you to join us on Thursday mornings at each campus. (More information can be found here). If you're not able to join us live, each campus will be hosting an online study via our Facebook Group page. 

 

 

Unshakeable  

Christine Caine is releasing her new book, a 365 day Devotional, Unshakable 365 Devotions for Finding Unwavering Strength in God’s Word on October 24, 2017! Praying this is a spirit-strengthening resource that will bless the masses and circulate the earth for decades to come! 

First 1,000 people to pre-order are eligible to receive a beautiful hand-lettered print of Hebrews 12:27, (2) exclusive cell phone wallpapers, & a bonus gift for additional resources.

 

 

A21 Walk for Freedom

On October 14th, 2017 A21 will be facilitating the 4th annual Walk for Freedom in 600 cities, in 50 countries and in all 50 states in the US. This silent, single-file 3 mile walk doesn't just create awareness...it creates real, lasting CHANGE! This will be my 3rd year participating and I'd like to personally invite YOU now to join in 3 powerful ways:

1. Join Us

If you're in AZ, please register and walk with us: Team "Unstoppable AZ". If you're outside PHX, please register for the walk nearest you!

2. Invite Others

Team "Unstoppable AZ" has a goal to have 100 people join our team. Although that may seem like an audacious goal, it's simple. If 20 people commit to inviting 5 others to join, we'll meet or exceed our goal! Who will you extend an invite to participate in a life-changing experience?

3. Fundraise

Unstoppable AZ is committed to raising funds to fuel the effort to save more people from human slavery AND bring justice to the enslavers. We are believing for $2,000 raised among our team! That's a small amount if you think about it! Here's a breakdown of some very do-able solutions:

  • 20 people raise $100 each
  • 100 people raise $20 each
  • 50 people raise $40 each

How can this be done? Simple: Ask. 

And even when you ask, you don't get it because your motives are all wrong--you want only what will give you pleasure. - James 4:3

I believe deep in the spirit of every human, there is a desire to play a part in a cause greater than ourselves. Raising funds for this cause is A cure to a very real human crisis and we must respond to the solution.  I encourage you to carve out some time to browse A21.org to see for yourself the cause and the effect this crisis has AND (more importantly) what is ACTUALLY being done about it. Read the stories of freedom, track the numbers of success. 

 

Hillsong Phoenix |  Glendale Campus  

I have been serving in my local church for over 2 years now and it's been the greatest blessing in my life! I've had the honor of serving in multiple capacities from day-to-day ministry, serving at big events, leading Connect Groups, etc. I wrote quite a bit about my experience in Welcome HOME! The friendships I've made, the personal growth I've experienced, the leadership I serve under and the servant leaders I get to do life with are truly remarkable! I'm thrilled that we are "One House with Many Rooms" and our home is expanding to the NW Valley/Glendale area! 


As I write this, I am reflecting on the blessings and redirections in my life within the past couple years. So much has happened, SO many stories I could share. But here's one many do not know. In December 2016, after much prayer and fasting I took a HUGE leap of faith and went through a very long and detailed application process to enroll for a 3-year program in a well-known ministry school in northern California. I was rejected. Yes, REJECTED! As soon as I read that rejection email I just KNEW it was God. I heard Him speak to my spirit: "Heather, it was an excercise of faith. I pulled on you to apply, you did. But I need you to trust me with your path. I have other plans for you. Stay put and work joyfully where I've placed you."  It's hard to imagine being anywhere else, doing anything else with anyone else. I'm joyfully working with what I've been given and am praying with eager anticipation for what my eyes will witness as we open more doors to welcome people HOME! 

If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities. -Luke 16:10 NLT

Let's Connect! 

Won't you join us: Stay the Path study, Unshakeable Pre-Order, A21 Walk for Freedom and visit us at Hillsong Phoenix!