The Hands and Feet of Jesus


So much has happened in our nation since the inauguration of President Trump. At times I have felt that I can’t keep up. Our new president is making some big changes and following through with many of the promises he made during his campaign. Although it is refreshing to see things being done, I find it a little scary and sometimes confusing.

One of the  issues that is flooding our televisions, social media feeds and conversations is refugee immigration. Over the past few days, I have listened to the arguments for and against. Angry people, happy people, sad people.  Although, I do agree with the president’s stand, I see merit on both sides. After all, we are dealing with real lives here; human beings, children. It’s hard for our hearts not to go out to the innocents that are caught up in the mess. It is easy to become swayed by the strong emotions that issues of this nature generate. It is also difficult to sort through media coverage and discern truth from lies. We can get so bogged down by news reports, blog posts and social media opinion that we fail to address these issues as we should.

So what am I, we, to do? Sit back and carry on with the day to day? Lobby our government officials? March on Washington? Amidst all of the chaos,  I am reminded once again to turn to the Word. What does God say? As Christians this is the first question we should be asking  before jumping on any of the multiple bandwagons available to us. God’s word has answers for every situation we deal with in life, if we are willing to find them.

The first thing I read is that we are to honor those in authority over us. Yes, whether you like it or not, that means our President. Romans 13:1-5 speaks very clearly on this issue. Honor does not mean to always agree, but it is an understanding on our part that the leaders we have are placed in their positions by God. His plan might not be obvious, but it is perfect. If we say we trust Him, then we need to obey what He has required of us. God has the ability to move the hearts of kings, we have to trust His plan.

Secondly, suffering is part of living in a fallen world. The harsh and ugly reality is that the poverty, persecution and suffering we see throughout our nation and world is as a direct result of sin, and the rejection of God by the people He created. We can not, nor will we ever end the atrocities happening in our day. The heart of man is wicked. Sin abounds. Matthew 24:9-14 tells us that Christians will be persecuted, that we would be hated by all nations. As our leaders start taking a stand against the evil that threatens our country, people will rise up against us. Even believers will turn away from their faith, because their hearts are stirred more by a cause than the truth of God’s word.

Thirdly, as Christians, the Church, it is our responsibility to take care of those in society who are hurting, lost, destitute, without hope. Whether they be Americans, foreigners or refugees. Our job is not to try and change the politicians that make decisions for our nation, rather we are to pray, and do that which God has asked of us. That, being to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth (Matthew 28:18-20 NIV). To every people, to every nation. We have a mission field right on our doorstep. I have to ask, are we wasting that opportunity by arguing, being negative and divisive? The truth is, souls are at stake. Do we feel the true weight of that?

And it doesn’t stop there; for what are words if they are not accompanied by actions? They are merely a noise similar to loud and clanging cymbals. (1Corinthians 13:1, NIV). We are to exhibit our faith through our actions. Our love. Scripture clearly warns us not to turn away from the needy. “Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses” (Proverbs 28:27 NIV). We are promised a great reward for taking care of the have-not’s and the vulnerable “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.” (Proverbs 19:17, NIV)

My prayer is that the body of Christ would rise up. Not in protest or to voice it’s social opinion, but to extend hands that God can use to build His kingdom. That we would be able to properly separate our emotions from truth, be the hands and feet of Jesus, and leave the rest to Him.

Is Your House Clean?


Have you ever noticed how God uses the ordinary, mundane things of life to teach us? I love that the lessons He has for us are not usually sent by audible voice or great revelation but by everyday things that we can all relate to. It’s a new year! A time for new beginnings, resolutions, and plans.

By the time January 1 arrives, I find myself rather grumpy at the clutter of Christmas decorations and chomping at the bit to take them down. As much as I love Christmas and the beautiful décor that comes with it, I enjoy putting it all away and refreshing my home just as much as I did putting it up! Am I weird, or can you relate?

So earlier this week, I grabbed my storage boxes from the garage and started pulling down my garland and unplugging my lights. But as I did, I noticed something unpleasant: my house was dirty!

I’ve always considered myself a good housekeeper, one of those “a place for everything and everything in its place” type of people. But as I went deeper, I started noticing the crumbs and dust bunnies under the furniture, the dust on the top of my kitchen cabinets, the sand and debris under the living-room rug. Everything looked great on the surface. But those hard-to-reach hidden places that I don’t look at on a daily basis needed a lot of attention.

As I rolled up my sleeves and started to pull apart my house to take care of those neglected areas, it was almost as if the Lord nudged me. “This is what I want to do with you,” I heard Him say.

As I went deeper and moved more things, I found more dirt, more dust, and a couple of stains that I hadn’t known were there. What God wanted to speak to me was so evident. How often do I, do we, look nice and clean on the surface but hide dirt, dust, cobwebs, and stains inside? This is a short and simple truth, but it cuts right to the heart of our Christian lives.

Matthew 23:25–26 says, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean” (NIV). Jesus was speaking to the religious, self-righteous, learned men of the day. He saw their pride and was unmoved by their words and actions. He saw beneath the surface, into the heart of each one.

What was spoken back then is still being spoken today. Not to the Pharisees but to us, God’s people. We spend a lot of time working on the surface stuff that people see, but much like in our homes, we don’t go deeper very often. I believe that as we move further into this new year, God wants us to dig deeper, to move things around a little so we can expose the dirt and stains in our lives that maybe we don’t even realize exist.

As I finished up my cleaning project and started putting my home back together, it felt good to know that even though those hidden places are usually unseen, the layers of dirt and dust in them were stripped away. They were spotless. For now. But I realized that it will be necessary to uncover those areas more than a few times a year. I made a decision to incorporate that task into my regular cleaning routine.

May it be so with our spiritual lives. I pray that God will continue to nudge me this year. To show me through the mundane, everyday activities and jobs I find myself in that He is interested in me, in my heart, and that He wants to make things new and fresh. May we recognize His voice, pull out the feather duster, move around the furniture, and respond.

Lord, help us to hear Your voice and act in humble obedience to it. May we allow You to expose the dirt that we try to keep covered and hidden. I pray that we would be transparent and allow You to do the work in us that You desire to do. Amen.

Happy New Year!


Good-bye 2016! Wow! What a year it has been.

From the Olympics to the US election, from the devastation of global unrest and violence to Chewbacca Mom’s viral three minutes of joy, 2016 has had ups and downs, uncertainty and unrest, hope and despair. In the midst of it all, I have found myself reminded over and over again that the One who owns the cattle on a thousand hills holds everything in the palm of His hands. Nothing happens without His knowledge.

For my family and me, it has been a good year, one of provision and blessing. I am so grateful for my hardworking, faithful, godly husband and my precious children.

For me, 2016 has been a year of learning to be content where I am—to bloom where I have been planted. In the past, living in Florida was never on my radar, so moving here six years ago was not in the plan—well, my plan! I am definitely a four-seasons type of girl. I love the fresh air and new life of spring; the changing colors of fall; and cold, cozy winters. Living among palm trees, sand, and 80 degrees year round is not something I get excited about or particularly enjoy.

This year however, I have come to accept that I am here in Florida for a reason, or, you might say, for “such a time as this” (Esther 4:14, ESV). It’s only taken me six years of complaining to figure this out! I don’t know what the purpose for being here is, but I am resolved in 2017 to rest in God’s plan for my family right where we are. You see, God knows what we need and wants to be intimately involved in every area of our lives.

As the great preacher and writer A. W. Tozer said, “Outside the will of God there is nothing I want. Inside the will of God there is nothing I fear.” That is my heart for 2017. God is in control, and I choose joy while placing myself under His will.

Moving forward into 2017 comes with a little trepidation. Big changes are coming for our nation, and in turn, our world. I am hopeful, but we really don’t know what these changes will bring. However, we do know who holds our future!

I am reminded of Psalm 20:7: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God” (ESV). It doesn’t matter who the president is or who is running our government. We trust in the Lord! He has the final say.

I pray that as Christians, as the church, we would not continue to be complacent. That we would not rest on our laurels because we now have a God-fearing president and a few Christian leaders. We are still called to be light and salt. The world is still lost and in darkness. Let us be awake in these days, alert, bold, standing firm for truth and ready for whatever we are called to do.

May your 2017 be full of blessing, learning, and God’s mercy and grace. Amen!

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;  the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24–26, ESV).

An Open Letter to Donald Trump

Dear Mr. Trump,

On July 16, 2016, I wrote and posted an open letter to Hillary Clinton on my blog, Courageous Motherhood. To my surprise, it garnered a lot of attention—more than three million views and tens of thousands of social-media shares. The majority of the feedback was positive, although I did receive many hateful messages and emails, which I guess was to be expected.

One assumption made by my critics was that because I chose to point out some of Mrs. Clinton’s, shall I say, flaws, I must be fully steaming ahead on the Trump train. It was surprising to me how many people made this assumption, as I never once mentioned you in my post, nor did I compare you to Mrs. Clinton in any way. For all anyone knew, I could have been voting for Santa Claus.

But people demanded that I play fair and write to you also.

I am not one to cave to pressure. So I refused. My intent with my letter to Hillary  was not to compare her and you as candidates; it was to show my daughter that anything is possible for a woman in this country but that emulating Hillary was not the way to go about pursuing her goals.

However, as election day draws closer and what faces us as a nation becomes more of a reality, I now feel compelled to address you also.

I must admit that when you first announced your intention to run for president, I rolled my eyes, laughed it off, and said to myself, That’ll never happen—but I couldn’t have been more wrong! I will confess, Mr. Trump, that you were not my first choice. The thought of having a thrice-married, casino-owning reality star and billionaire businessman as president was almost a little too much for my motherly Christian mind to handle. I was, and at times still am, very conflicted.

Christians in America, me included, are faced with a very difficult decision and somewhat of a dilemma come this November. You see, I can envision what a Hillary presidency would look like, and boy, would it be ugly. Integrity aside, just her liberal agenda and what she stands for politically make her an impossible option for me. A Trump presidency, on the other hand, is an unknown. That to me is scary.

Some have made the commitment not to vote, because they feel that you don’t align well with a biblical worldview. I, however, think that to forgo our opportunity to vote is disrespectful to the freedoms that we as Americans have been given. It has also been suggested that a third-party vote is an option. To me that’s a copout.

Many Christians are confused about the role of the president in our society. I am not looking to elect a man of God for president, although that would be refreshing! Neither am I looking for a pastor. I believe it is the church’s job to change and influence the spiritual and social climate of our nation, not the president’s. I am looking for a president who will give us solutions for our national debt, our open borders, our failing schools, and our healthcare system. My desire is that my children grow up in a safe, prosperous, and strong country. We need a president who will recover the freedoms and liberties that have been systematically stolen from the American people over the last decade; a president who will once again make the United States a leader on the world stage instead of a joke.

I hope you can understand why this election cycle has been a struggle for me and, I know, for many others.

Honestly, Mr. Trump, I want to support you! Some days you impress me with your composure and common sense. It is refreshing to hear a non-politician say the things that so many of us want to say but don’t. You do speak for the people in so many ways.

Unfortunately, though, some days I get up and read the cringe-worthy social-media bickering you’ve engaged in, and I find myself at a loss. It is not necessary for you to talk about Bill Clinton’s mistresses or refer to Miss Universe contestants as disgusting. There may be truth to some of these things, but they are a distraction. Discussing them does not garner respect, and it is certainly not presidential. You see, Mr. Trump, this election is not just about you! It’s about me, my husband, my children, and millions of other Americans who are looking and praying for a leader who will bring some semblance of order to a nation that is spiraling out of control.

We are facing one of the most pivotal times on our nation’s history. This election is about the enduring freedom of the United States of America. This is so much bigger than petty Twitter arguments and ridiculous banter. Your time needs to be spent listening to those who so desperately want America to be, for lack of a better word, great again!

Please, for the sake of the people, me included, who are planning to put a check next to your name on November 8, stop! Please, put your pride aside, and stop taking the bait of the liberal left to engage in things that don’t matter.

You have millions of Americans counting on you to show the rest of our citizens that you are not a joke, that you can be taken seriously, and that our votes for you will not be wasted. Please show us and your naysayers that you will make a good, strong, levelheaded, and serious president.

May God have mercy on and bless this beautiful nation—the United States of America.

No Longer Silent

As I have watched many of the events in the American news cycle this past year, I have felt a range of different emotions—sadness, frustration, disappointment, and confusion.

I have watched news of the riots that took place recently in Charlotte, North Carolina. I have watched the news from Dallas, Texas, and from Ferguson, Missouri, and now from San Diego, California, where violence, looting, and stealing have been rampant. Lives lost, others forever changed.

I have  listened to presidential candidates seek to destroy one another, name calling and stooping to preschool-type behavior all while trying to persuade us that they are the ones best suited to run our country. I watch as our leaders lie and deceive us, seemingly without consequence, when the truth is right before us.

I have heard of baby parts being sold on the black market. Baby parts! Do we even comprehend the evil it takes to do such a thing? We hear outcry over suspected criminals being shot, yet we murder more than three thousand babies a day! A day!

I have seen people vilify law enforcement for maintaining order and security. Does it not occur to those who are taunting and disrespecting police that these officers are human beings? That they are people with families who pray for their safe return at the end of every shift?

I have seen spoiled, entitled athletes and other members of our society decide that it’s okay to spit in the faces of those who have fought and continue to fight to defend our nation. They disrespect the very flag that represents the right they have to speak their minds.

As I look around at the chaos perpetuating itself throughout our nation, from government dishonesty all the way on down to riotous conduct by people in the streets, I am honestly astounded with regard to the depths to which we have fallen as a society. While I cannot claim to have walked in others’ shoes or to know what it’s like to be of a minority race or to be poverty stricken, as a mother, my heart is broken. Not because of wrongs done to me personally but because I wonder what the future holds for my children.

So, fed up with all I have seen, I decided it was my job to fix the situation! I sat down to write a post. I began it as an open letter—one full of frustration, disappointment, and annoyance.

My intention was, in some ways, to point a finger at people engaging in these behaviors. To tell you all whose fault I think it is. I thought about suggesting that it was the government’s fault, since in many ways our political leaders have facilitated much of the behavior of our day and are responsible for a portion of the unrest and social degeneration we see. I thought about pointing to certain civil-rights groups or even church leaders.

But as I pondered and prayed, and as I listened to counsel from a wise friend, the old adage “When one finger is pointing forward, four are pointing back at you” came to mind. Not that I am directly responsible for any of these issues, but the question I began to consider is, have I been complicit in the unrest I see around me by keeping silent regarding the things I see happening? Has my desire to be a loving, kind Christian actually helped pave the way for some of the issues facing us today?

While it’s true that we gain nothing by pointing the finger at others, it’s also true that as Christians, we must speak up against wrongdoing. It’s as Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias recently said: “If you and I don’t stand up and speak with love, and speak with concern, the day will come, as Margaret Thatcher warned us, that if the church does not rise up and speak, the political structure will collapse.”

We have become a church full of silent people! We are afraid. We are scared of being labeled. We have become so politically correct that we are crippled. As Christians, we have somehow come to think that speaking truth is not loving, not Christian. But love speaks truth. Love is just. Love speaks for righteousness. Love serves; it does not take; but love is not always easy, not always pretty, often times hard to hear. Jesus spoke out against unrighteousness, sin, and lawless behavior. We are His voice here on earth. We, I, need to start using our voice.

So I am asking, as a Christian mom, how do I teach my children not to lay down in the face of unrighteousness yet still love? How do I  teach them to be strong and courageous but also to have hearts to serve others and show empathy toward them? How do I teach them to block out the voices that tell them they are owed something in this entitled generation and grow into responsible servants in society?

The truth is this: Americans owe a debt we can never repay. We owe a debt to the Pilgrims who decided in the face of persecution to say “No more.” We owe a debt to our founding fathers who, despite what some may believe, laid down laws that not only granted and perpetuated freedom but honored God above all. We owe a debt to those who have fought for our freedom, not only in foreign lands but on our own soil. We owe a debt to those who have said “No more” to oppression and segregation—those who gave their lives for peaceful resolution and change and who spoke wisdom and truth. Above all, we owe a debt to Jesus. He came, He died, He rose, and He did it for one purpose: to give you and me life and to call us into His service.

People have sacrificed their lives for my children’s freedom, just as they have for every individual blessed enough to call America home. In light of that great sacrifice, should we sit quietly for the sake of political correctness and tolerance so as not to rock the boat? I know I can’t. I cannot in good conscience sit by and watch while the fabric of our nation is slowly unraveled by selfish, lawless, and godless behavior.

So as I put away my pointing finger, I pray that God would instead use me to be His voice. Not to shrink back, not to be afraid—but to stand for truth and righteousness.

Excuse My Language!

unwholesome talkIf one more Christian asks me to “excuse their language”, I think I’m going to lose my mind! I feel like this needs to be addressed. I am bothered by the amount of Christian people who use God’s name in an inappropriate way; that allow curse words to roll off their tongue without a second thought, and somehow think it’s acceptable to share videos or posts that may include bad language (as long as they preface with a disclaimer ‘excuse the language’), because said video or post may be cute in content.

Before I go any further,  here is my answer to you once and for all. NO! I will not excuse your language anymore. Let me explain why.

Our call, as the Church, as Christians, is to be SEPARATE!  If we speak like the world, how can we be differentiated from those in the world?  If we behave like the world, so as to ‘relate’ to the world, how are we supposed to be the Called Out ones that Jesus teaches about in 2 Corinthians 6 & 7.  As believers, we are to detach ourselves from the world and live differently, act differently, speak differently.

All too often I hear bad behavior or off color speech justified because we are ‘covered by grace.’ We convince ourselves that God is only concerned about the heart. Yes! He is! His Word says in Luke 6:45, “from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” What comes from our mouth, is in direct relation to what is in our heart. So, how can we continue to speak like we used to speak, if or hearts have been changed?

Let me make it clear; grace is favor from God that we did not earn. His gift to us through His sacrifice on the cross. Grace is NOT license to continue living or speaking how we please.

“Jesus hung out with sinners,” you say. Yes! He did. However, it was always on His terms. He was always calling people to Himself, never speaking or behaving like they did.

Have we drifted so far, that we don’t open our Bibles anymore to see what it says on these matters? Is it a case of ignorance is bliss? Maybe the theory is, if you don’t know, you can’t be held accountable? Or, is it that we have been led so far away by the teachings of modern church culture, that we really have bought into the false doctrine of ‘grace covers all’, and there are no requirements of us? Is it possible that holy living is no longer a priority?

We have become a lukewarm church. We are more concerned about what others think of us, than what the God of the Universe thinks. Our greater concern is offending those around us with our ‘God speak’, rather than worrying how our ‘world speak’ and actions offend God.

Here’s a little truth nugget. The Bible is offensive! It is also confrontational and demanding.

We have been given the most precious gift of grace through Jesus death and resurrection. It has been given unconditionally, it is unmerited, it is free. HOWEVER, Jesus tells us to no longer live according to this world. We are to be transformed. That means we are to be different than we were before. In our speech, our attitude and our actions.

So, my friend; the next time you ask me to excuse your language, the language in a movie, YouTube video, or whatever else you might be sharing, let me remind you of Paul’s words to the Ephesian church. “Don’t use any foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them”

My God help us. – Amen

An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton

Dear Mrs. Clinton,

Congratulations on securing the Democratic nomination for president of the United States. It’s historical! It’s liberating to women! You’ve broken the glass ceiling!

But at what cost?

As the mother of a beautiful young daughter, my desire is to teach her every day that she is priceless, valuable and precious beyond anything else in this world. I tell her that God has placed her on this earth for a very specific reason. I make sure that she never doubts her place here.

How exciting it would be for us to celebrate the accomplishments of the first woman ever to receive the presidential nomination of a major political party! Wouldn’t it be amazing if I were able to point my daughter to someone she could look up to and admire? Unfortunately for myself, my daughter and millions of other women in this nation, I can’t.

Sadly, Mrs. Clinton, you have shown not only my daughter but all daughters—and not only in this country but globally—that in order to, in your words, “shatter the glass ceiling” you have to lie, cheat, abuse, insult, bully and ignore. You threaten others along with disrespecting yourself.

Mrs. Clinton, how can I possibly tell my daughter to follow you as an example after you allowed your husband to assault and demean multiple women throughout his political career? Were those women not important? Tell me, will you fight for my rights like you fought for those womens’? Ummmm, I hope not. What about the sisterhood, Mrs. Clinton? Did you expose your husband for his abuse? No! Instead, you enabled him as the abuser and tried to silence his victims. How can you live with yourself? Female empowerment? Nice try!

How can you get up and speak about income equality and then pay your own male executives considerably more than your female staff? How can you receive donations from countries that publicly abuse, shame and even execute their own women? Yet you continue to boast about how you stand for women’s rights. Double standard?

You try your best to relate to those of us who work hard every day to achieve the American dream. You, however, know nothing of struggle. That $12,000 Armani jacket? Those $250,000 speaking fees? They speak volumes. Hypocrisy?

How could I possibly ask my daughter to look up to and trust you? Do you honestly think that you are an example to American children? My daughter watches the news. She has heard about the Americans who were attacked and slaughtered in a foreign land while you stood by and did nothing. Then, with their blood on your hands, you did everything you could to cast the blame on others, eventually telling Congress, “What does it matter now?” Dishonesty?

The fact of the matter is, Mrs. Clinton, that you are no champion of women. You are selling the women of this country a false bill of goods. Unfortunately, many are buying in. I don’t want you fighting for me or my daughter. You have the interests of only one woman in mind here: your own. You have done nothing to bring the United States together. Quite the contrary—you have done your best to divide, and you have succeeded. Congratulations. You crave power, and you will do whatever it takes to get it. You have lied, cheated and let down your own country.

My prayer, Mrs. Clinton, is that I would be able to teach my daughter how to be a true woman. A strong woman. A self-respecting woman. A woman who sees herself through the eyes of her Creator. I pray that she would be a woman of compassion, kindness, service, selflessness. One who has integrity and looks out for the needs of others.

In a way, I guess I should thank you, Mrs. Clinton. You have made it easy to teach my daughter who she does not want to aspire to be. Now may I have the courage to stand up and show her the woman she does want to be.


Helen Wickert

P.S. By the way, I will pray for the next U.S. president, whether it is Donald Trump or you. God tells us to do so, and He can turn any heart toward righteousness and truth.