Friday, July 29, 2011

Outer Banks with my GA family!

Daddy, Moma, Christina, Grandad, Gran, and Alyssa! My traveling companions! =) We have been on many trips together. Just as the other ones, this trip was incredible!


This trip was all about seeing lighthouses-- in all shapes and sizes. AND about being with my family. LOOOKIE! It's Christina! :) My favorite lil sis!! 

All three of us girls LOVED being in the water. It is soooo lovely! How fun it was to play with my sisters again!

We were able to worship together again! It was a very friendly little congregation. Neat to meet people from all over who were also vacationing there. The church is a family! It is a blessing to be members of the Body of Christ!

At the Wright Brothers' Memorial. It was awesome there. There was always a breeze there. I LOVE to fly, so I thought it was really cool to be there. There is also a small airport next to Kitty Hawk. Neat to hear the sounds of an airplane and be where the first one flew. 

CAPE HATTERAS! THIS lighthouse is why we planned this whole trip! It was incredibly beautiful and wonderful to see in person. It was a dream come true in our family to see it, climb it, and see the view from the top...

Inside the lighthouse! 257 steps... Gran and Grandad are so cool to be able to climb to the top without any problem. I'm so thankful for grandparents who love to travel, see the world, and also that we share the goal of Heaven. It was so good to have this family time!

We're at the top! It was soooo lovely! I would have stayed up there so much longer. The view from the top was so lovely. There is no way I can look out at the water, trees, sand, birds, how high up we were, and not think of God and how powerful He is!

Almost the whole family finally in the water! This is where you insert Grandad reading in the van... It was neat to be in the water where the Cape Hatteras light shines to lead the sailors to safely. Couldn't see lighthouse without thinking of Captain Jim from Anne's House of Dreams...

Isn't it just breathtaking? We were staying just a few miles away from the ocean, and we could see the water around almost every turn. The continual breeze helped keep it comfortable and not killer hot. The sun was shining all day every day. It was very beautiful! 

I am thankful that my family cares about modesty and has taught all of us girls from a young age that being at the beach or in a swimming pool does not mean that one can wear clothing equal to a bra and underwear. We try to stay covered from the shoulders to the knees. What you see in this picture are our swimming clothes. =)

We got up really early one morning to watch the sunrise over the beach. It was AWESOME! We had the beach mostly to ourselves. Doesn't this make you realize how majestic God is-- and how small we are? But how moving it is that He cares for us?

Doesn't it look like we went to the desert? Really, it's the sand dunes. But wow! They were huge and crazy hot. We walked, climbed, and played in the water so hard on this trip, if I kept that up always I'd been in GOOD shape! Try walking up a hill of sand in flipflops-- the sand will FLY up behind you and make your cute lil sis laugh heaps!

We went to see the lighthouse at night. This was special request by me, and a very lovely night and drive out there. The tallness and strength that a lighthouse seems to give is powerful. Made me think of how we can be a light to others in the world-- showing God to all around us. Make sure your light is shining for Him.

I LOVE this lighthouse! We didn't climb this one, but we sure enjoyed how pretty it was. This is the one that we say at night, too. 

Little details. Big Beauty!

At the Lost Colony... Sad story. Beautiful place, though. HOT day coming home!

A midget lighthouse! hee hee Isn't it CUTE!

My sweet grandparents. It was so nice to be together again. Gran's been e-mailing-- wooot! And look at that bright yellow shirt! :) They are the coolest grandparents ever! And sooo adorable together! 

Enjoyed sharing this trip with friends-- and having texting! I wonder if you all know how much YOU help daily in my life here, and wherever I am. You all encourage me with your belief and trust in me. Thank you for the messages, calls, texts, pictures, and letters. It all makes me so happy!

The view from my driveway. At home. In GA. Just as lovely as the view from my driveway. At home. In MO. Being at home at Duluth on Sunday was the best part of the whole trip, I think. It hint me there how much I did miss being there, how dear all those people are to me. Especially when my Aislinn and Kellen came running to me and when we started singing. So many smiles and hugs from people I've known all my life and people who have touched my life so richly with their love for God and the church. Loved being back there and look forward to any other times that I get to go to back... but I was very happy to come home. To my Missouri!!!!!!!!

Luke 6:38-- "Good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom." 
~Thank you all for your love!!~

What matters in life...

For what is your life?
It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away (James 4:14).

Have you ever noticed how we focus a large part of our lives on little things?  We tend to forget what's most important - living right before God so that we can go to heaven.  We say that we understand life is short, but what do our actions say?  Time quickly passes - we must not hesitate in making the most important decision of our life.

The Steps of Salvation
The Bible teaches that sin is a transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4). All people who know the difference between right and wrong have sinned (Romans 3:23). Our sins separate us from God (Isaiah 59:1,2). The punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23). This is "the second death" which is "the lake of fire" (Revelation 21:8).


God loves us. He does not want us to be punished for our sins. Therefore, He has provided a way for us to be forgiven (John 3:16). God sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins (1 John 4:10). Jesus suffered the punishment which we should have received for our sins (Isaiah 53:4-6). He did not die for His own sins, for He had none (2 Corinthians 5:21). He suffered for our sins on the cross so that we can be forgiven (Romans 5:6-8; 1 Peter 2:24).
In order for us to be forgiven of our sins, and therefore receive eternal life, we must accept the salvation which Christ has made possible. There are five steps which we must take to receive this salvation.

First, we must hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches that "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17). One is not a Christian because his parents are. Faith cannot be inherited (Ezekiel 18:20). Each person must believe in Jesus Christ for himself. Christianity is a religion of teaching (Matthew 28:19,20). Unless one has heard the Gospel and learned that Jesus Christ died for his sins, was buried, and arose from the dead, he cannot be saved (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). The apostle Paul wrote: "How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher" (Romans 10:14)? One must first hear the Gospel before he can believe it.

Second, one must believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16). Jesus said: "...if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins" (John 8:24). The jailor at Philippi asked Paul and Silas, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" They told him to "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household" (Acts 16:30,31). Jesus also said: "He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16). One comes to believe in Jesus Christ when he hears the Gospel taught. Faith comes only by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). This is the reason it is so important that the Gospel be preached to the whole world (Mark 16:15).

Third, one must repent of his sins in order to be saved (Acts 17:30,31). Jesus commanded that "repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Luke 24:47). Repentance is a result of being sorry for one’s sins (2 Corinthians 7:10). When the Jews on Pentecost Day learned from Peter that they had crucified the Son of God, they "were cut to the heart" ( Acts 2:37). They wanted to be forgiven of their sins, so they asked, "What shall we do?" They were told to "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins..." (Acts 2:37,38). When one repents, he turns away from his sins (1 Thessalonians 1:9). He shows he has repented by doing good works (Matthew 3:8).

Fourth, one must confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16). This great truth is the very foundation upon which the church of Christ is built (Matthew 16:18; Acts 4:11,12; 1 Corinthians 3:11). Jesus said that we must be willing to confess Him before men if we want Him to confess us before the Father (Matthew 10:32,33). The apostle Paul wrote: "But what does it say? ‘The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:8-10). When Philip preached Jesus to the Ethiopian eunuch, the eunuch asked, "What hinders me from being baptized?" Philip told him he could be baptized if he believed. The eunuch then confessed, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" (Acts 8:35-38). We must make this important, yet simple confession also in order to be saved.

Be Baptized
Fifth, one must be baptized in order to be saved. Jesus said: "He who believes and is baptized will be saved" (Mark 16:16). Please note that baptism follows belief. One who does not believe the Gospel cannot be truly baptized. Therefore, babies cannot be baptized for they are too young to (1) have sin, (2) hear the Gospel, (3) repent of sins, and (4) confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Baptism also follows repentance. On Pentecost Day, Peter told those who asked what to do to be saved to "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized..." (Acts 2:38). One cannot be truly baptized who has not truly repented.

Baptism is a burial in water (Romans 6:3,4; Colossians 2:12). Therefore, sprinkling or pouring are not proper baptism. Baptism is in order to be saved (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21). One is not saved before he is baptized! Baptism is "for the remission (forgiveness) of sins" (Acts 2:38). Just as Jesus shed His blood for the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28), so we are baptized in order to receive the remission of sins. In baptism, the sinner’s sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus ( Acts 22:16; Revelation 1:5).

What does one have to do in order to be forgiven of his sins? He must (1) Hear the Gospel of Christ; (2) Believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God; (3) Repent of all his past sins; (4) Confess that Christ is God’s Son; (5) Be baptized for the remission of sins. When he does this, he is added by the Lord to His church (Acts 2:41,47). He is born again (John 3:3-5; 2 Corinthians 5:17). He is in Christ where all spiritual blessings are to be found (Ephesians 1:3; Galatians 3:26,27). In short, he is a Christian (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16).

Are you saved from your sins? Have you taken these simple steps to salvation? If not, why not do so today?

 The beauty and power of God's creation can be seen all around us every day. I love living here and seeing so many incredible sights in nature. Without God, we have no hope of Heaven. "Know God, Know Peace. No God, No Peace." You all are in my prayers...<3

Thursday, July 28, 2011

July Randomness...

I hope that you all have been having an incredibly wonderful July! This month has flown by, as this whole year is doing. To catch up on a few things in my busy, perfect, amazing, blessed life:

Fans are VERY fun to talk, sing, and laugh into. Try it several times a day with different songs. It’s good for your health. Try Carter’s song: “Sweet dreams are made of peas… travel the world to disagree…” =D He was making me laugh SO much! It was great to hear his sweet voice again after over a week without him! 

Also, scissors + McKenna= bangs and looking even more like Mommy than before. She cut her hair while I was out of the room in about 3 minutes without a mirror. She really looks very cute, though she says she doesn’t like them. It could have been much worse…

 The little pool in our backyard is one of the BEST things ever! We play in it about daily—sometimes more! “Can we go swimming?” is one of the first questions I’m asked in the morning. It’s the perfect place to pretend you’re a sea lion in training, thrown overboard in the middle of a lake searching for land, or be “Kung Fued” by the kiddos. The sunshine so lovely, the sky so huge, and the kids so happy!  

Aunt Chas had her surgery and is doing well. She has become such an important part of my life. I feel like I’ve known her forever, though it’s been only months… and only weeks here. Her smile and her laugh make me so happy. Uncle Daniel is one of the coolest guys. He rides with Darren on Tuesday nights. I love it when he comes over; any time I see him. He’s always got a great smile on his family. Their sweet girlies are the same. Funny, happy, sweet as everything. I adore their family, our family. <3

 They spent the night with us, which was so much fun! Then Lynn and her kids gave Aubrie, Rylee, McKenna, Carter, and me one of the best days ever! Good tennis lesson for the girlies, wonderful lunch, and then the awesomest pool ever~ even a waterslide! It was great to get to know them all better. It is neat to realize I’m learning the area…

 Every day with good health is a blessing that I used to take for granted. In the past few weeks I’ve found myself thinking how blessed I am to be able to pick up the kids, run up and down the stairs, go for long walks, drive anywhere I want. It’s a gift. And something we have to use wisely. I’ve also found myself trying to let the things that don’t matter, “don’t matter” to me. It’s been good. Not saying I’ve got it right all the time, but it’s something I want to keep up and continue to get better at. Take the time to notice all that God has given to us and how pretty and perfect He made everything. 

This week being back with the kiddos, back at home with my Hecks, has been wonderful. I sure did love to be with my Ga family for a week, but I missed my Missouri life! Good to come home! I’ve realized this is home. Ga is home… Heaven is going to be perfect. No more goodbyes or missing anyone. I read Pollyanna while I was on our trip. Couldn’t help but think of my Aunt Shauna. Her example, her love of life, her happiness and focus on God and her family play a big role in my life. It is helping me grow closer to God every day.  

The sweetest moment was the day I came home. As I was leaving at the end of the day, the kids waved at me and said, “I love you!” It was the first time they’d said that on their own, not just in response to my telling them I loved them. It made my WHOLE… year?? 


Been missing my family at Concordia… sure do love them all. Looking forward to being home for a while in a few weeks, but am loving the traveling as well. Next week begins our Colorado trip. It’s been years since I was there. Sure am looking forward to the time with friends and seeing new places. 


Good to have some time at home. Super-awesome girlie time with my Candice, pictures and clothes, supper with the family, movie… just all being at home at once. And having our Nathan here! We’re missing Ashley, Madison, and Hallie but thankful for the fellowship and encouragement they are giving and gaining on their trip...

Have I mentioned that I LOVE our life?? Hug everyone you love and tell the world about Jesus. We don’t know when our last day will be. <3

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Birthday Boy!!

This was a very special day! It's the Birthday Buddies' Birthday!! 
Carter and Mr. David share this day, and they are two of the very best and most important guys in my life! 
 My happy boy!

  We're friends! <3

 But... sometimes I'm the bad guy! =D

Dear Carter Boyd,

I cannot imagine my life without you in it anymore. Your smiles and hugs and your incredibly adorable voice make my days with you very special and full of happiness. You come for hugs first thing in the mornings. For a while you weren't so sure about me, but now you've decided to like me, even if you don't "wike" girls.

You are a big helper around the house. When you see me cleaning something, you're right there asking to help. You do well picking out your clothes and getting dressed on your own. You take your clothes and throw them down the stairs. You love to help Daddy, too. Daddy is your world; you want to be just like him. You want to wear 2 shirts like Dad, you can't wait for him to get home so you can follow him around the house, you want to eat whatever he's eating. It's the cutest thing to see you ride your bike with Daddy. I asked you today what your very favorite thing in the world was, and you said, “Dad!” <3

You are way into Star Wars. Your birthday party will be Star Wars themed, and Grandma Theresa and Papa Dud found you a Darth Vader candle. That is so perfect, because you LOVE Darth Vader! Your Darth Vader bear is too cute. And when you walk around in your Darth Vader mask and say, "Luke, I am your father," and breathe like he does, it cracks me up! I'm going to miss being here for your party, but you will be surrounded by so much family who loves you lots!

Potty training has been a big part of life for the past few weeks, and right now, you are doing wonderfully. You were so excited to get new underwear over the weekend. That was one of the first things you showed me yesterday morning. You have said your own prayers lately. They are so sweet. You remind me often that the only things we hate are the devil and sin. And that we have to be good and go to Heaven. You love Bible time and singing Bible songs!

We had so much fun today! We spent time watching Star Wars videos on YouTube, making cupcakes and banana bread muffins and licking all the batter, and running to the store for frosting. You were so happy and funny to be with. Then we went to see Cars 2. It was really good. You sat in my lap for almost the whole movie. I loved the cuddle time. We went to see Uncle David, your birthday buddy, at work and took him some cupcakes. You adore him. Daddy got to come home early to spend time with you. It was a great day!

Happy 3rd Birthday, Little Man!
Love always,

 "We're gonna sing 'Jesus Loves Me.' I'm gonna sing it all by myself. And you're going to sing it all by yourself. At the same time." ~Carter to me :D

   Several favorites all in one pic: tricycle, Darth Vadar bear, baseball, Daddy's car, and red clothes!




"I got it!" (Wish I could insert his happy little laugh here... it's killer cute!!)

 Happy kids are the best things in the world!!

 Making birthday buddy cupcakes!

 Playing with his new toy from Lynn. He loves it!!

 These two guys are sweet blessings in my life! It was wonderful to be able to spend their birthday with them. Love you both very much!