Displaying items by tag: for the heart

God is in the Pregnancy Help Ministry!

Guest commentary by Dr. David Whitaker, CEO of Pregnancy Choices Clinic in Union City, CA

I believe God bringing my wife, son and me to the East Bay of California (near San Francisco) 24 months ago - 2,550 miles away from our other children, grand children and familiar surroundings - was not a fluke or an accident. God had a plan. On paper, the past 24 months of Pregnancy Choices Clinic (PCC) history may have read more like a failed plan to some, a miscalculation of decisions, or leadership gone bad. I often felt like we were missing what God was doing.

Following our arrival in California we experienced a number of difficulties: my bicep muscle was torn and immediate surgery was required. The weakening economy necessitated a downsizing of PCC. Circumstances required that we develop an entirely new staff and medical capability. A plummeting California economy drove us to reduce expenditures by more than 30% and negotiate a temporary 50% reduction in our monthly facility lease.

Light at the end of the TunnelIn anticipation of our annual Walk, we moved forward in faith and attempted everything we could reasonably do to raise more income throughout the first part of 2010. While our May Walk Event was a great occasion for believers of like mind to congregate over life values, we simply did not reach our financial goals. Soon thereafter, we realized that our Center was in jeopardy. We failed to make payroll several times. We were behind the previous year’s income level by a substantial amount of money.

We sent a direct letter to our supporters, staff, and volunteers to share the seriousness of our situation. Though we did not believe that it was God’s will because of the many answered prayers and touched lives, we potentially could be forced to close the Clinic. We gathered everyone for a day of fasting and prayer and God showed up. What an amazing God we serve!

In just a couple short months we completed our fiscal year in the black in contrast with last year’s deficit. We provided counseling and ultrasound services for at least four abortion minded women who decided to keep their babies in the same period. Four men accepted Christ as Lord and Savior from our men’s program, and exciting new relational opportunities have been granted to us.

God is doing something awesome with us and our Clinic and I would like to share a vision I believe He has placed on my heart.

As I was wrestling and praying concerning options for us several months ago, I began to see that there were not many good ones. While in prayer, an “outside of the box” thought came to me. It was to appeal to a church that might catch a passion for this ministry and supply a more affordable space for the clinic.

Little did I know that as I thought about this, someone else had been thinking about the same possibility. It was exciting to learn that a counselor right in our clinic had been praying that her church would support a ministry such as PCC. In fact, her church already had a stand alone facility that could be used for such a vision!

The facility is in the neighboring community of Hayward, CA where the largest percentage of our clients resides. The church has offered complete autonomy and comparable square footage at a minimal cost that will likely result in a significant increase in clientele. Additionally, this is exactly the kind of community outreach the church’s pastor and leadership team have been seeking.

God has been showing me is that He does not want us to stand still and simply survive… Our leadership team is convinced that God wants to do something huge, something grand, something that will greatly impact the East Bay Area (and likely yours as well). But many times, the only thing that stands in the way is each one of us.

Our pursuit will require faith. God has answered our prayers and in a very short period our perspective has been turned 180 degrees from survival to an expansion of the ministry. Only God can do something like this. Do we have to stand in the gap and believe? Yes. God deserves our absolute, unwavering trust. Without it, our view of God becomes small and ineffective.  To be sure, that is not the case.

From Take Heart | Volume 2, Issue 7.

Commentary of Hope


by Jor-El Godsey, Heartbeat Vice President of Ministry Services

(from Take Heart Volume 1, Issue 8)

“He gave some as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12).

Ephesians Chapter Four is jammed-packed with the “hope of your calling.” “Put on the new self” (Ephesians 4:4) is followed closely with the admonition, “Be angry and sin not” (Ephesians 4:24). As with many passages of Scripture, Ephesians Chapter Four offers so many deep truths to ponder and apply to our personal and ministry lives.

Take another moment and re-read the two verses again. What catches your attention? Apostles, prophets, and the rest? The work of service? Building up of the body of Christ? Of course, these are all important and worthy of study and application in their own right. But, before tackling those powerful points, we start with an eternal truth of Christ – “He gave” (Ephesians 4:8).

Yes, He gives us Himself, His Word, His Way, His Truth, His Life and oh, so much more! Here in this passage we see Him giving gifts for the work and the building. But, don’t rush too quickly to assume that the gifts are the all-important positions of those in leadership as pastors and teachers. Not quite. “He gave some” so that they could be those things. He gave people to the cause of His work and for His work.

To paraphrase this passage for our Christian organizations, He gave some as Board Members and Client Services Directors, others as executive leaders and volunteers, and still others as advocates and trainers for the work of affirming life! In a very real sense, whatever title you have in responding to His call to the work, you become His gift to the effort. This includes those in the ministry and those touched by the ministry. This includes the community and the Kingdom.

Never forget that God chose to work in and through people. He could’ve chosen the angels or just stayed on earth in bodily form Himself to accomplish His great mission. Instead, in His infinite wisdom, He chose to work in us and through us. That makes you, your colleagues, and your collaborators – His gift!

Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible.

Read more from this edition of Take Heart.


Tagged under

Bless the Lord, O my soul

by Debra Neybert, Heartbeat International Training Specialist

from Take Heart | Volume 2, Issue 10

Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!  Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:  Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,  Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercies,  Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. Psalm 103: 1-5.

David begins this Psalm by extolling the Lord with His whole heart and proclaiming the amazing benefits we receive when we are in relationship with Him.  He forgives us, He heals us, He redeems us, He crowns us, He satisfies us and He renews us!

Verse 5 has some wonderful insights, “Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.”

God satisfies and fulfills our deepest longings with good things.  The word “satisfies” means to be fulfilled, have plenty and to enrich. The word mouth is also translated soul, so in essence the Lord satisfies the deepest place in us with His own goodness.

Psalm 105:40 says “They asked, and he brought them quail and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.”  We know that Jesus is the bread of heaven; and He alone can satisfy!

God also desires to renew our youth like the eagles! Eagles are known to fly to an altitude of 10,000 feet; they ride columns of rising air called thermals while migrating.  An eagle can circle effortlessly in a strong thermal to a high altitude, and then glide long distances.  We can catch those spiritual thermals and rise above to go the distance!

eagleThe Hebrew word for renew used in this verse is Kered and it means to rebuild and repair. Eagles also molt in patches, taking almost half a year to replace feathers, starting with the head and working downward. They go through this process more than once because not all the feathers are replaced in a given molt or they couldn’t continue to fly and hunt for food.

Jesus came to restore us to perfect wholeness, fulfillment, peace and joy. The journey to wholeness includes repairs and renewal along the way, perhaps you’re in that place right now, maybe you feel a bit isolated, maybe you’re even “replacing” some old thought patterns and ways and it hasn’t been an easy process.  Be encouraged and rest in the faithfulness of God to complete the work he started in you.

When you think about it, the eagle goes through a renewal process so it can continue to hunt and eat.  Eating is what gives us strength and satisfies us in the natural.  When we apply this spiritually, we understand that the bread of heaven, Jesus, the word made flesh, is our only source of satisfaction and renewal.  The word of the Lord is living and active today, may you partake and be refreshed!


Tagged under

A planting of the Lord

by Debra Neybert, Heartbeat International Training Specialist

Tree in water“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8).

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither -- whatever they do prospers” (Psalm 1:1-3).  

My heart was encouraged as I read and thought about the verses above.  As this year unfolds, the world faces many uncertainties and trying times, but those of us who are rooted and grounded in Christ need not worry or fear. In fact, we will be increasing in His goodness!

In the verses above, we are given specific direction so that we may prosper even when it would seem very difficult. The Lord does not want the circumstances that surround us to affect or hinder our success or our perception of His goodness. He wants us to experience prosperity and fruitfulness in the midst of drought. Prosperity comes in many ways, it’s not always financial.  It may come as a God-given insight, a creative idea, or wisdom that will eventually bring great abundance to us personally and corporately. As we remain in Him, according to John 15, we will bear much fruit! 

The root system of a tree is created to seek out water: it “sends out its roots by the stream.” The word sends out also means to shoot forth, to stretch out, extend, and direct.  The Lord will take the difficulties, disappointments, grief, and illness in our lives and if we let Him, He will cause our “root system” to stretch, extend, and go deeper in Him. When we are in Christ, we are connected to the source of all living water! 

Do you see yourself drinking from this living water?  In Christ, you are planted by the life giving water.  Isaiah 61:3 says, “So they will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

A tree so planted will not fear when heat comes, it will not experience damage from the blazing heats of summer, its leaf remains green, and it will yield fruit in season.  We become like Him, continually bearing fruit so that others may find sustenance and refreshment in time of need.  Remember, His resources are Eternal and they never run dry!

Tagged under

From smart decisions to wise leadership

by Jor-El Godsey, Heartbeat International Vice President

From On the LeaderBoard | Volume 1, Issue 3

“For wisdom is better than jewels; And all desirable things cannot compare with her” (Proverbs 8:11).

In this age of information, the average leader is awash with details.  The great task of most days is wading through data to assemble, assimilate, and assign value to meaningful information.  But information by itself, without context, isn’t particularly helpful.  It’s likely just trivia.

Information must be organized into meaningful constructs to become knowledge. Knowledge becomes understanding when we find relevant application. Wisdom is manifested in how information, knowledge, and understanding are handled. Wisdom involves judgment, sensitivity, tact, and often, timing.

Where there is no choice, the exercise of wisdom is limited.  It is when we recognize multiple choices, possibilities, or actions that wisdom can become our friend and ally.  Judging between choices and possibilities leads us to questions about what we know, how we know it, and if we know enough.

A prudent question is one-half of wisdom. - Francis Bacon

Wisdom often involves balancing the need to gain more information with the available resources (including time) necessary to make an informed decision.

Besides information, there are other wisdom elements that come into play such as sensitivity to those involved or affected. The wise leader works to involve to some degree the stakeholders in the decision-making process.  That could be in the form of a single brainstorming session or, full-on collaborative planning process.  Even the most visionary thinker can have blind spots. Actively seeking the input of others, within reason, can minimize these as well as strengthen acceptance of the outcome.

The wise leader also factors the impact of the decision on others.

Once a decision is made, it is the responsibility of the Christian leader to use the most compassionate means to treat those affected and to support them... - Kurt Senske, Executive Values

There must always be sensitivity to the fact that, even with the best of intentions, some people may be negatively affected. Therefore, the best decisions will include appropriate tactfulness in implementation. Tact is also important in communicating the decision. Crafting vivid, warm, vision-focused language can tactfully define a decision for all involved. 

More than sensitivity and tact, wisdom seeks a process that honors all involved. Hard decisions, even those with difficult short-term consequences, can be implemented with this in mind.

A good decision, implemented in an untimely fashion, can produce negative results.

Nine-tenths of wisdom consists in being wise in time. - Theodore Roosevelt

Wisdom involves timing for many reasons – maximizing return on investment, minimizing negative impact, speed to achieve expected results, slow implementation allowing others to adjust, etc.  Tough decisions can require difficult steps that involve short term pain. But those difficult steps can be accomplished well.

Fortunately, wisdom isn’t just an innate quality reserved for a few. The book of Proverbs consistently implores us to seek and pursue it. Wisdom is promised by the Lord. Those serving in Christian ministry, at whatever level, should consistently pray for wisdom in all endeavors – personal, professional, and organizational.

“For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright…” (Proverbs 2:6-7).

Adapted from Heartbeat International’s foundational training manual, GOVERN Well™


The Fourth Man in the Fire

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, it is not necessary for us to answer you on this point.
If our God Whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, He will deliver us out of your hand, O king.
But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up!
(Daniel 3:16-18)

fire stock-1

There is a battle raging over our worship. It’s an age-old battle, heating up as we see the forces of darkness aligning in greater measure. Daniel 3 gives us a picture of this scenario.

Nebuchadnezzar commanded everyone, everywhere—in high and low esteem—to bow down and worship the golden image when they heard the sound of the musical instruments being played.

The strategy of the enemy is at all costs to get us to look away from the Lord to a “golden image” (our circumstances), and be ensnared in the “sound” (which creates an atmosphere of confusion around us). Babylon first appears in the Bible under the guise of the tower of Babel in Gen. 11. The Hebrew word for "confused" in verse 9 is babal, which sounds like Babylon.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to worship or serve any god but the living God. When they first arrived in Babylon, they had determined along with Daniel not to defile themselves with the royal food and wine. After fasting ten days, they were healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. Daniel 1: 20 says, “In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.

The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord, they feared only the Lord—not even the threat of death swayed them.

Their refusal to worship another god infuriated the king, and he had the furnace heated seven times hotter than normal. The furnace was so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers preparing to throw the men in. We may walk through a fiery trial that the enemy has heated seven times hotter than normal… But God!

He can take the fire of destruction intended for us and use it to destroy the enemy, then turn it into a supernatural, holy fire of deliverance! Only that which bound the men was burned away!

It was Nebuchadnezzar who saw the fourth man, who looked like the son of God walking around in the midst of the fire. The Hebrew number for four is Dalet, it means a door. Jesus is the Door, the way to our deliverance. We may not always perceive the Lord in the midst of a trial, but be assured that Satan sees the Lord by your side. For He will never leave you or forsake you! The men emerged from an impossible situation unbound, unharmed, and were quickly promoted!

Jesus always walks with us in our fiery trials. His presence will make the fire of our trials, supernatural and situations will turn around from hopeless to hope-filled and beyond!

Worship Him, for He is worthy!

by Debra Neybert, Training Specialist

Tagged under

Anna: A Heart of Worship Welcomes the King


And there was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
She was very old, having lived with her husband seven years from her maidenhood, And as a widow even for eighty-four years. She did not go out from the temple enclosure, but was worshiping night and day with fasting and prayer. And she too came up at that same hour, and she returned thanks to God and talked of [Jesus] to all who were looking for the redemption (deliverance) of Jerusalem.
Luke 2: 36-38 AMP


"The Prophetess Anna," 
by Rembrandt

Mary and Joseph took Jesus to Jerusalem after their purification, and they presented him before the Lord. At this time, Simeon and Anna come on the scene. These two divine appointments, although obscure in their brief mention, were by no means insignificant!

Just as Simeon was prophesying that the child in his arms was God’s salvation, up walked Anna.

We are told much about Anna’s history. She is a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, and from the tribe of Asher. Anna’s name means “gracious” and her father’s name means “face of God.” Included in the blessings spoken over the tribe of Asher was the promise, “as your day, so shall your strength, your rest and security, be.” Deuteronomy 33: 24-25 AMP. Certainly, this applied to Anna, a widow of 84 years!

Although none of her prophetic words are recorded, imagine the amazing promises she may have proclaimed and rejoiced over in that moment.

Anna was a worshiper. In fact, that is who we are told she was even before we’re told she was a woman of fasting and prayer. In the face of significant losses early in life, she chose to enthrone the Lord on her praises. Anna did not allow her losses to dictate the course of her life. Rather, she chose to have a grateful heart, an undivided heart, and the Lord rewarded her and opened her eyes to behold Emmanuel, God with us!

Surely the decades she spent worshiping, night and day, with fasting and prayer had developed her deep love for God and an intimacy she enjoyed throughout her life. Worship catches the heart of God; it draws Him near, and changes the atmosphere around us.

Anna spoke of Jesus "to all them in Jerusalem that were looking for redemption." Here He is! All your expectations and joy are to be found in this Baby! He is Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace!

May you, like Anna, worship Him this Christmas season. For He alone is worthy!



by Debra Neybert, Training Specialist

The All-Controlling Love of Christ

"For the love of Christ controls us..." -2 Cor. 5:14

resurrection240411 01

Do you feel the weight of this simple, yet other-worldly profound phrase from the Apostle Paul?

As someone who's neck-deep in the difficulties, sorrows, and burdens of others on a day-in, day-out basis for the sake of the gift and the Giver of life, you certainly know something of this weight.

But what keeps you going? Why take on this weight?

Why immerse yourself in a work that promises to be exhausting, confounding, and--at least sometimes--totally deflating?

Because, as Paul says, "the love of Christ controls us." We get a better picture of what this dynamic phrase means as the Apostle unpacks its meaning in the words that follow:

"For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised." (2 Cor. 5:14-15)

Why continue laboring in this field? Because the very love Christ had for lost sinners like us when he submitted himself to death for our sake is on full and glorious display when you sit across the table from a newly expectant mother who carries the weight of the world on her shoulders.

Love--more specifically, the love of Christ--is your language as you come alongside a woman who's mind, as one center director put it, "was only abortion." Love is your language as you take the time to help her slow down and truly consider her options, as well as the ramifications any choice she makes could have on her long-term physical, mental, and even spiritual health.

Why continue to hope--against all odds, it seems--that your words and very demeanor could change somebody's world and literally make the difference between life and death? Because the love of Christ controls us, and you no longer live for yourself, but for the sake of him who was raised.

Love is your language as you hope in Jesus, the ultimate Victor over sin, Satan, and death in all its forms. Love is your language as you communicate the unbelievably good news of peace and restoration with God through the death and resurrection of Jesus in a thousand ways to each client and family your center serves.

Love is your language when God gives you a glimpse of His ultimate triumph over death, as a family embraces a child they otherwise may have lacked courage to welcome, if not for you.

Take heart. The sacrificial, triumphant love of Christ is ours by faith. Ours to receive, and ours to extend.

by Jay Hobbs, Communications Assistant

God's Love Surprises

Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too. (Genesis 48:11)


The Lord’s promises are sure to come to pass, for He is a loving and faithful God. Jacob never expected to lay eyes on his son, no less his grandchildren. From his perspective Joseph was gone forever. But God!

As we look forward to a new year, expect the love of God to surprise you! It’s a year to taste and see that the Lord is good!

In Genesis 48, Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” Concerned for his father, Joseph travels with his sons, Manasseh and Ephraim to see Jacob. Approximately 17 years earlier, we are told that Jacob had made Joseph a richly ornamented robe because he loved him more than any of his sons for he had been born to him in his old age. The robe symbolized his father’s love, favor, and the future destiny the Lord had for him.

His brothers became jealous of him as a result of this favor and because of the revelation he received in dreams. They attempted to take his life, but God intervened through his older brother Reuben! Instead, Joseph, and his dreams were thrown into a pit, and then into prison.

Now we must remember, in Jacob’s heart, he believed he would never see his beloved son again. He “had proof” that a wild animal had torn Joseph to pieces. He witnessed with his own eyes the robe dipped in blood. Joseph entered a time of exile, but when the prison doors swung wide 13 years later, the man who emerged looked very different than the young man who was originally thrown into a pit.

He was now prepared to fulfill the dreams and destiny the Lord gave him so long ago! Get ready for the Lord to resurrect and release what has been imprisoned in your life!

What a sweet surprise Jacob received from the Lord in his latter years, not only was he restored to his son, but he was given the opportunity to bless the next generation, his grandsons! As this year unfolds, expect the love and goodness of the Lord to overtake you. For truly, He desires to bless you abundantly, above all you could ask or think of!

So expect the unexpected, and taste and see that the Lord is good!

by Debra Neybert, Training Specialist

Tagged under

God's Love Language

handsholding.102822 "In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."

1 John 4:9-11

“In this the love of God was made manifest…..” We have all heard it said, “Actions speak louder than words.” This is a true saying! God’s love language manifested louder than words….because in John 1:14 it tells us The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. God with us, Emanuel!

So much of God’s love is communicated through His loving actions toward us. First and foremost He gave; He gave what was most precious to Him, His only Son.

How do we comprehend such love? God’s covenant love for us includes all His benefits. He is absolutely 100% committed to us, desiring for us to enjoy all the blessing that are ours in Christ. Those in relationship with God in the new covenant have many spiritual blessings as new creatures in Christ Jesus. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 1:3

Those spiritual blessings express God’s love for us, and some are listed in Ephesians 1; we have been chosen, adopted, and accepted in the beloved. We are redeemed, forgiven, and have become part of His perfect plan and purpose. In addition, we are laborers together with God (1 Corinthians 3:9); we are ambassadors bringing the message of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:20); we are the bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2).

We have peace which passes understanding (Philippians 4:7); we prosper in every way and keep well, even as our soul keeps well and prospers (3 John 1:2); and we have the assurance that nothing is able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:39).

The word for "covenant" in the Old Testament comes from a Hebrew root word that means "to cut." The death of Jesus ushered in the new covenant under which we are justified by God's grace and mercy. Jesus' sacrificial death served as the oath, or pledge, which God made to us to seal this new covenant.

In 1 Samuel 18 we are told that Jonathan makes a covenant with David because he loved him as his own soul. In verse 4 it tells us that Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his apparel, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.

Similarly, Jesus in covenant love for us, stripped Himself of His robe, His majestic apparel (John 13), and laid down His life for us. There was a divine exchange. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Galatians 3:13

The Father gave us His only Son, and now we have the ability to live, and to love through Him, to love others because He first loved us. Let our language and speech become a conduit of His love.

  • “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
  • “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2
  • “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13


by Debra Neybert

Debra Neybert, long-time friend of Heartbeat International and former Heartbeat employee, is presenting an In-Depth Day at the 2019 Heartbeat International Annual Conference called Spiritual Retreat: Joy Comes in the Morning. This In-Depth Day is designed to instill great hope (confident expectation of what God has promised) in the hearts of participants as they journey toward personal wholeness and fulfillment. The day will include topics listed, worship and personal time with the Lord. See other In-Depth Day options and more information about this year's conference in Dallas by clicking here!


Tagged under
Page 16 of 19