Guest Post: Did You Know How Much God Just Loves You?

*a special post from special guest Heather Falana*

My husband loves me. It doesn’t matter what kind of a day I am having or if he disagrees with some of my decisions-he just loves me. He has been out of the country for 10 days and he returns tomorrow. To say I am excited is an understatement. While he has been away the Lord has been working some things out of me.

There is always stuff in us that can be worked on, worked in, or worked out. See, the thing is, people say “Jesus loves you” and ask “Did you know how much God just loves you?

…. “just loves you”.

Yes. I do know that He does love me.

But do I?

Grace means undeserved favor. It means that something is given to you that you do not deserve and it could never be earned, but I believe that over time I have come to slightly believe that I must earn some gifts from God. Today, I realized that the devil has been trying to keep things out of my grasp with this one lie; “Heather, you haven’t done enough.”

I find it very easy to love the Lord. To sing Him praises and talk about His goodness. It is also very easy for me to do that for people too; to brag on them and bring them gifts, but I have a hard time receiving it back. The Lord brought to my attention that I don’t always let Him love me. I’m always thinking about what I didn’t do or what I can do better. Not what He has done and wants to do in me and for me—there are things only my Heavenly Father can do.

I am a mother of three beautiful children. They are not perfect. They fight with each other on occasion. They sometimes lie. They don’t always follow the rules. They get mad at me. You want to know what? Sometimes they irritate me but I LOVE them so deeply that I correct and move forward knowing sure within myself that they love me too and they will improve. So, sitting in my living room today God gave me a dose of much needed unlimited, throw-all-caution-to-the-wind, cry-your-eyes-out LOVE.

Over the past month, while my prayer closet, I was sensing this wall. A wall. Not a wall to keep things in, a wall that was keeping something out. I couldn’t figure it out. I asked the Lord to show me what I was feeling on the inside. One thing I love about having a relationship with God is that He never fails to blow my mind.

I stand on scripture for healing in my body and protection over my family. I receive wisdom from God daily because His Word says in James that all I must do is ask for it and He gives it freely. Freely. God loves freely and He gives grace, mercy, and wisdom freely; however, it is never forced and must be received the same way. Today He spoke to my heart and said “Heather, you cannot earn the things I love to give you. I watch over your children because I love you. I desire to heal your body because I love you. And I gave you Jesus because I love you. Not because you remembered the scripture from last Sunday. Not because you prayed and read my Word four times or two times this week or you forgot. I just love you.

I cannot explain in a human tongue what this did to me. I know God loves me. I know that He sent Jesus because He loved us (John 3:16). It was different today. It went deeper than “Jesus loves you”. I felt like He took my face in His hands and looked me in the eyes and said “I just love you.

My husband and I moved last year to the west coast to start a church. People are people everywhere you go. I have come to realize that. Here in my new home I am finding it challenging to explain why we are here. Yes, we came to start a church to tell people about Jesus Christ and what He did but more importantly we came to share the love of Christ with people. I have been asking myself “How? How do I explain all of this extreme fondness I have for my savior?” and “How do I show them what it is like to know My savior?” and “How will they see that this is vital?

Outside of being an example of Christ and being a sweet fragrance to those around you (II Corinthians 2:14-15), I needed more. How do I put this thing in my heart into words? Wisdom is coming my friends. When you ask Jesus to come into your heart to be your Lord and Savior its more than a prayer. It’s a life changer. He said in II Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, all things have become new.

It’s one thing to know about a person, it’s another to hear about who that person is, and it is entirely different to live with that person. Christ desires to live with us because He just loves us. He desires to change our hearts because He knows about every little thing in your life that you need. He desires to lead us. He desires to heal us, protect us, and care for us.

We recently got a dog. He is almost a year. We found him at the Humane Society. We walked into this very loud, a bit stinky and crowded animal shelter. My family and I walked into the small dog room. There was this half Corgi half Chihuahua copper dog in the last kennel on the left. My oldest son just melted. The shelter had a name on his kennel and it was Nalu. When we brought him home the kids wanted to change that name so we threw out many ideas until we settled on Cooper.

Cooper has had to learn some new behaviors. He has had to learn that we are safe and how to trust us. When Cooper came out of his old life he received a new one. A better one. He came from a high-kill shelter in Hawaii and this was his last chance at living. He was surviving but he was not living. When God sent Jesus to us it was not to point His nose down at the human race and aim lightning bolts in our direction and yell “Look at all those people screwing everything up! They need a crutch! I’m sending them Jesus.”  No. He sent Jesus because the enemy has it out for all mankind (I Peter 5:8) and Jesus came to make a way of escape. Just like we were sent to Cooper to make him a way of escape. John 10:10 Jesus says “the thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” In other words, Jesus came to bring something worth dying for and not so He could keep it to Himself. He came to give it away to you and me!

It didn’t stop there. We gave the dog a new name and a new life. He also received gifts and a bath! Now everything that belongs to the Falana’s also belongs to Cooper. He is in the family now! He enjoys our couch, our food, our neighborhood streets, and our love. It is the same with the Lord. You can know about Him or you can live in Him.


Picture yourself standing outside of a house and wondering what it holds. Nothing in that house belongs to you, in fact you cannot even see what it has to offer. Now, picture yourself walking through that house. You see all the rooms, the stairs, the fireplace. It is very inviting. You walk right through it and you move on.

Now, imagine you live in that house. Everything in that house belongs to you. It not only brings you the things you need, like a stove, washing machine, and toilets. It shelters you. It keeps you warm. It protects you. It also gives you room. Room to share. That is Christ. He desires for you to be “in Him”. Not to know about Him. Not to visit with Him once and move on. He desires to free you from a negative sentence in life. To change you. Rename you. Feed you. Shelter you. Most importunately, “to just love you.” I John 4:9-10 “In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins”.

Don’t just survive this one life you have been given. Live it in Him and let Him just love you.

The Falana Kiddos with their sweet little Cooper

A Little Thought From Heather…Meadows🤗

I could write a blog post alone about Heather Falana.  She is the portrait of Proverbs 27:17 in my life– “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” We met several years ago in an anatomy class and journeyed through OU College of Nursing together, being referred to by many as Heather Squared.

She and her family are brave for Jesus, bold for Jesus and desire His plans for their life, moving across country, not knowing a soul, to minister His life, His love, His hope and His healing to lives. 

Would you pray about and consider blessing their ministry with a love offering?  Your tax deductible gift can be sent to:  
Church Alive ℅ Sam Falana 1339 NW Covey Ct. Silverdale, WA 98383 

Also, if you enjoy a good laugh, Heather periodically posts some super funny videos! Click here to look her up on Facebook. Her humor will lift you up, truly making you laugh out loud.  She’s such a gift to me! ❤ Heather

I pray this post spoke to you. Did you know I’m writing a book?! Crazy, right?! Would you join me in supporting these endeavors by subscribing to our blog and sharing with your friends and family? We can’t grow with out you.

All You Care to Eat

When it comes to vacationing, we’re all geared a little differently. Some are drawn to the mountains and snow, some to the beaches and sand, some to museums, some to amusement parks, some cruising on the ocean blue, and some enjoy hitting the open road wherever it may lead them. And then there are those who enjoy it all.

Over the last seventeen years, Brandon and I have had a bit of variety in our get-out-of-town trips. We’ve hit a few big cities visiting museums and seeing shows, we’ve enjoyed a cruise (no surprise Mickey was on the ship—we just love that mouse), we’ve soaked up sun on a few beaches, and we’ve continued to feed our Disney addiction, cultivating one in our children, with return trips for fun in the parks.

Whatever it is we have planned for vacation, one feature is always at the top of our list— where we’ll eat!

I realize not everyone may look forward to food as much as we do, but stick with me. Even if you’re not a passionate eater, there’s still something here for you too.

On our recent vacation to Disney’s Aulani resort on Oahu, we enjoyed a character dining experience called Menehune Mischief at their Makahiki restaurant. Oh my! The food!

Our family tried to remember all the different items on the buffet. There was mac and cheese, watermelon, pineapple, cantaloupe, ham, chicken tenders, a salad bar, pork lion, pizza, ahi tuna, teriyaki chicken, stuffed tortellini, potatoes, sushi rolls, salmon, shrimp, crab legs, prime rib, apple cobbler, mud pie, cheesecake and more! Now is the time I should admit that this was the list of items consumed by our family alone!

I’m not proud to say, but I walked out of there so stuffed I felt sick. The buffet said, “all-you-care-to-eat.” Growing up, I always thought a buffet was all-you-can-eat. But it didn’t matter, because there was what seemed like an endless feast before me, and I enjoyed every last bite. Especially the crab legs!

You may be wondering what this has to do with anything. I want to thank you for hanging in here with me to find out.

While there were many, many people who partook of that meal, I ate as if it were prepared just for me. I wanted to try a little bit of everything. (And seconds of some—like the crab legs.)

And I came hungry. In anticipation of that meal, I had been chintzy with my intake the entire day. I wanted room to receive of all the goodness that was going to be set before me.

Could you imagine going to someone’s home for dinner, walking in and seeing a buffet of dishes they prepared for your visit? Now, could you imagine seeing those beautiful dishes, the heart and excitement of the one who prepared it for you, and then choosing to only eat a protein bar?

I eat protein bars. And I eat them for nourishment, not for delight. A buffet is pure delight. It goes beyond meeting the basic nutritional need, and adds enjoyment to it.

Are you with me?

It’s exactly the same thing God does for us.

He has prepared a feast for us!!! The buffet has every good thing you can imagine—peace in the midst of problems, trust facing the unknown, joy in the presence of sadness, comfort, security, courage, strength when we feel weak, grace for our mistakes, hope when times are hard, happiness after hurt, and much, much more!

Can you imagine walking in, seeing a buffet with those items and deciding not to get a plate?

We do it a lot. We walk around hungry, burdened with the trials of this world, all the while the Lord is inviting us, “Come sit down with Me, take in My plan. Take in what I have prepared for you. Get close to Me and you will smell the aroma of what I have in store for you.”

When it comes to an all-you-care-to-eat buffet, you may want to be a little more conservative than I was, but when it comes to receiving from your Heavenly Father’s buffet, get a plate, a big one, because He has so much goodness prepared for you!

Psalm 23:4-6 NLT
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for You are close beside me.
Your rod and Your staff protect and comfort me.  You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.  My cup overflows with blessings. 
Surely Your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

Join me for a Women’s Night at Coweta Assembly of God this Sunday November 6th at 6pm as we dig in to the words we need to receive, repeat and those we need to rebuke in order to walk in the label the Lord has given us. All are welcome to attend. And if you know a teenage girl, bring her along too!

****Three ways to help us grow—sharecommentsubscribe.****
Connect with Us! Click Here to Subscribe
Could our story be of benefit for your group or upcoming event?  Click here to contact us!
Choose this link to see a video of our story

OUCH

We’re all familiar with the numeric pain assessment scale. How many times have you been asked the question, “On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your pain?” My Aunt Donna has been asked the question several times over the last week in recovering from her second knee replacement for the year.  My favorite illustration of this process is when Baymax assesses Hiro in this clip from Disney’s Big Hero 6.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEeBXUUOBiI

The answer is not as easy to obtain when dealing with children. In those instances, the FLACC scale may be used to determine the level of pain. There is also the FACES pain scale used to help children identify their pain.  I remember as a child it was a challenge being asked many times over not only to rate my pain but also to describe my pain. It’s a difficult thing for children to be able to articulate the source of their pain and the intensity of it.

We can understand that though, can’t we?  Is it much different with all people? Not really. We’re proficient in expressing our physical pain, but those emotional wounds are another story. Wouldn’t it be nice to point to a face to indicate our emotional anguish or just slap a Band-Aid on those hurts until they heal?

Makes me think of Caden around four and five years old. Even the slightest of injuries warranted a Band Aid. And when I say “slightest of injuries,” I’m leaning heavily on the slightest end, referring to the most minor abrasion. Yes, that’s the delicate way of saying he wanted a Band Aid even for scratches. You know nurses, we assess the need, which only qualifies if there is an inclusion of blood, and many times over I assessed that Caden didn’t need a Band Aid. However, it didn’t take long to realize that he wasn’t like his big sister and big brother; he couldn’t be reasoned with about his injury. Forget the need, if Caden wanted a Band Aid, we weren’t moving on until Caden had a Band Aid. Soon I reveled in the simplicity of it. “Just slap a Band Aid on there and it’ll all be fine.” Oh if that were only the case in life.

IMG_4197

Gavin made this at church a few months ago.

IMG_4198

Seemed an appropriate message for the blog topic.

In the NICU we utilize NPASS to assess pain in neonates. Babies can’t tell us how they are feeling, so we gather information in regards to their crying and irritability, their behavior, their facial expression, the tone of their extremities and their vital signs to assess their level of pain. These indicators help us meet their need. Sound familiar?

How often do we see people hurting who won’t verbalize they are hurting? Let’s go even closer to home. How many times are you hurting and you never tell anyone your level of pain? Or here’s one more that might need a Band Aid after I put it out there. How many times has someone let you know of their pain and you only made the hurt deeper?

The last two weekends I have had the opportunity to take part in some very special retreats to speak into the lives of some very special women. I pray much hope, healing and love was received from our time together.

Of those retreats, one was based on the book Captivating by Stasi Eldredge. I was one of six speakers who poured our lives out to those in attendance. The point of it all is that we are all wounded. Recognizing those wounds make us cognizant to the enemy’s methods of attack. The defeated foe wants to use our pain to render us ineffective for the Lord.

IMG_4199

This retreat was a time women were speaking to women to heal wounds. Unfortunately, far too often women speaking to women can intensify the wound.

How?

Well, with the same things that bring healing can also bring hurt.

Wisdom and Words.

In James 3:13-18 we learn there are TWO kinds of wisdom.

  1. earthly, unspiritual demonic
  2. from above

Proverbs 18:20 we learn there are TWO kinds of words.

  1. Death
  2. Life

When someone trusts us enough to invite us into their wound, when they trust us enough to indicate their level of pain, let us be careful to use wisdom from above that, “is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere;” and let us be careful with our words that they may speak life.

James 3:13-18 ESV  —  Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

Proverbs 18:21 ESV  — Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Toby Mac says it well in Speak Life, “We can turn a heart with the words we say. Mountains crumble with every syllable. Hope can live or die”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeBv9r92VQ0

** did you enjoy this post?  if so, please share with your friends and family through email or social media**

Connect with Us! Click Here to Subscribe

Could our story be of benefit for your group or upcoming event?  Click here to contact us!

Want to read what others have to say about previous events? Read them here.

Choose this link to see a video of our story and some previous events

personal messages welcomed to speaking@heathermeadows.com

What Is Love?

“Yeah I would fight for you, I’d lie for you, walk the wire for you, yeah I’d die for you. You know it’s true, everything I do, oh, I do it for you.”

Lyrics like these from the theme song in the 1991 movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, are representative of what we see as chivalrous, that honorable, gallant man, the knight, willing to sacrifice his life. It’s what every woman wants. A man, who honors her, respects her and would ultimately die for her.

A love that’s pure is without expectations. A love that’s genuine is without conditions. In our “Fifty Shades of Grey” culture and our skewed definitions of love, we miss out. And this missing out starts early.

IMG_3610

The lines are blurred so we don’t even know we’re tiptoeing by them, on them, or possibly even crossing them. We’ve become so desensitized to love, that we don’t guard it, wait for it, or hold it for what is perfect. Our young people toss the word around as if they understand what they’re saying. “I love you.” In a relationship, what does that mean? With the gift giving and receiving, the Instagram posts and captions, and that word….dating. Where are they even going? Nowhere. And we’re not helping them.

We quickly jump in to defining love through another, or by the interactions we have with another. We’ve got it all wrong. Love has to start with us. We’ve got to get down to the base of love, the agape love. How can we love another if we haven’t fully accepted the One love our hearts, minds, and souls were created for?

Types-of-Love

There is a Man who has died for us. We read about the sacrifice Jesus made for our sins. However, do we take it in? Do we fully absorb what He did? Do we completely soak up the love He poured out when He shed His blood?

Philippians 2:6-8 NLT (emphasis added)

Though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When He appeared in human form, He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

A criminal’s death. A criminal’s death is what He endured for you. He endured it for me. If you were the only person to save, He would have endured it for you alone.

A criminal’s death. We’re not talking about an honorable sacrifice. He was mocked. He was ridiculed. He was beaten. He suffered and died, ransomed for you and for me. It was our debt to pay, yet He gave Himself freely.

There we find the foundation of love. If we don’t build our house of love off of that solid establishment, then everything we build is a house of cards. And He wants so much more for us. He wants us to let it be forever….

*I was in the 8th grade, yes the 8th grade when I allowed myself to get caught up in romantic love.  Far before I was ready.  Nothing physical involved at all, but emotionally invested before I was grounded in my identity in Jesus.  I had a relationship with Jesus.  But please, see what I’m saying.  It was my identity in Him, the essence of who I was, that I needed to be solid first.  This song came out a few years later.  I met the group, Avalon, at a Christian Music Artist Convention my vocal coach took me to.  I told them how their song challenged me to redefine love and to guard it as the precious gift it is.  I was sixteen.  A few months later, I began dating Brandon.  It was because of these truths that our relationship took the course we printed on our wedding invitations. “A glance, a smile, became a friendship, grew into love.”  I could fully, completely, and SAFELY love him, because my lens of love was through Jesus first.

“Let It Be Forever”

In a world of broken hearts, love is just a word

Used so often, what is means is blurred

People grow so hungry for a love they can believe

And will they find it here in you and me

Oh you know you must be careful

If it’s love you’re promising

You can never, never, ever speak it lightly

It should cost you everything

If you’re gonna call it love

Oh, then let it be forever

Let it be forever

If you’re gonna call it love

Oh, then let it be forever

Love has come from God and in this love we share

People see an image of Him there

It can be an invitation that leads to deeper truth

The kind of love they find in me and you

Oh, we can be a witness

Right before their eyes

A living love that’s rooted in the very love of Christ

If you’re gonna call it love

Oh, then let it be forever

I don’t know what this world may think of love

Oh, but let our hearts remain true

To the notion that love goes beyond just emotion

Into faith, into hope, into trust

If you’re gonna call it love

Won’t you let it be forever

Won’t you let it be, let it be

If you’re gonna call it love

Won’t you let it be forever

~~~

Happy Valentine’s Day!

john 316 valentine-2

** did you enjoy this post?  if so, please share with your friends and family through email or social media**

Connect with Us! Click Here to Subscribe

Could our story be of benefit for your group or upcoming event?  Click here to contact us!

Want to read what others have to say about previous events? Read them here.

Choose this link to see a video of our story and some previous events

personal messages welcomed to speaking@heathermeadows.com