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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Mist



Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. Ps.27:14

As each day passes, I find more and more it takes grace that only comes from above to willingly bear unanswered questions and to trust God's wisdom and timing. It takes courage I never knew before. Some days you walk and some days you crawl. Some days you're fine and some days you just say you're fine when in reality, you're barely getting thru. It can sometimes be a lonely battle and faith is tested to the core. It brings you to your knees and drives you to a constant lifting of the heart to God in prayer. Clouds loom over; the mist and fog hide the sun from view. It is in these times of darkness that it ultimately defines where our trust lies - in ourselves or in our Lord.

But on bended knee, the reminder comes that the mist will only last awhile. That any day, at any moment, the light will break with radiant rainbow hue! And when it does, we can be sure of one thing, that it was worth the wait, it was worth the pain, it was worth it all.



If clouds and mist are hiding the sun from your view, remember, the mist will only last awhile.

"Teardrops fall like rain, rain only falls on cloudy days, rainbows shine with the sun, sun only shines when the clouds are gone!"

Monday, December 8, 2014

Ice Skating!

Had a super great time on Saturday out on the ice! It's been ages since my sis and I have gone skating and has been something we've wanted to do for ever so long. What made it even better was going with super great friends!!










Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Just a little something to think about this thanksgiving:

"The pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these, who nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving."
- H.U.Westermayer

Think about it. They left everything they knew to come to this land, which was a barren wilderness, with just their bare necessities. None of us really know what they went through to build their huts, grow a garden, put food on the table, and merely survive. Then they lost loved ones...fathers, mothers, husband, wife, sons daughters, brothers, sisters, and friends. Yet they were still a thankful people.

So this Thanksgiving, what do you have to be thankful for? !!

May y'all have a blessed Thanksgiving!








Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Hearts At Home



A friend brought this song to my attention as it captures the heart and theme of this blog. It was actually written from the perspective of a wife and mother and since I'm not at that stage in life, I took the liberty to revise it some!

Chorus: My hearts at home
With those most precious to me.
My hearts at home with my dear family.
Fulfillment and joy each day inside me;
Loving and serving those dearest to me.
My hearts at home, my hearts at home.

The world would call me out, to fill each day with things money can buy, demanding I walk in the shoes of those whose goals are corporately decided.
The fashion and wealth, prestige and honor,
Beg to replace homemade bread and blessings of family.
But I say "no," my hearts at home.

Another voice beckons and knocks at my door
A self - centered cry is loudly calling! You need to get out to be effective, busy and making a name for yourself.
But I look in the Word where it lovingly tells me,
To be a keeper at home, loving my family,
So I say "no," my hearts at home.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Communication

Here are some things to consider when any two people communicate. There is:

• What you wanted to say

• What you meant to say

• What you said

• What you think you said

• What the other person heard you say

• What the other person thinks he heard you say

• What the other person thinks you meant to say

• What the other person feels about what you said

• What the other person says about what you said

Is it any wonder misunderstanding happens?


The worst distance between two people is misunderstanding.


Let's not allow misunderstanding to get in the way of our relationships by choosing our words carefully, listening intently, and using discretion in all we say!

He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Proverbs17:27

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

PRESSED

Pressed out of measure and pressed to all length:
Pressed so intensely it seems beyond all strength;
Pressed in the body and pressed in the soul,
Pressed in the mind till the dark surges roll.
Pressure by foes, and pressure from friends,
Pressure on pressure till life nearly ends.

Pressed into knowing no helper but God;
Pressed into loving the staff and the rod.
Pressed into liberty where nothing clings;
Pressed into faith for impossible things.
Pressed into living a life in the Lord,
Pressed into living a Christ-life out poured.

-unknown

I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.My help cometh from the LORD, which made; heaven and earth.He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Ps. 121:1-3
But he knoweth the way that I take; when he; hath tried me I shall come forth as gold.Job 23:10

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Call It Insane

Sometimes it's great to do crazy things once in a blue moon (or was that a full moon? !!) ...like staying up with friends talking, laughing, sharing hearts, eating chocolates, popping pop corn and just having a good time til 4:30 in the morning, then going in to work on 2 hours of sleep!! Thankfully, there's such things as Dr Pepper and double shot mocha energy drinks that keep you going, and siblings n friends that stop by during work hours to help you get through the day! Call it insane, but sometimes it's totally worth it!! :))

Hey girls, that was a blast!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Call to Christians in America

A stirring 8 part message by Keith Daniel; I think you'll find it totally worth your time...then of course, I think that about every message I've heard of his!! =) I listened to this a few years ago and thought I'd take the time to hear it again. Thought I'd share it with the rest of ya! God bless!



Monday, July 7, 2014

Story Behind "What a Friend We Have in Jesus"


This is such an amazing testimony of how the love and comfort of God can span the deepest pain and heal life's greatest sorrows. May we never doubt what a friend we have in Jesus.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

One Ability

There is only one ability that God is looking for in us - availability.



There is no special talent or gift required in availability. It is only that open heart of saying "yes" when God presses a need upon you to fill. As I have a hard time knowing where my gifts lie, it is encouraging for me to know that He can still use me - that it doesn't take some special talent to give a helping hand where needed...only a willing heart, and sometimes flexibility in my schedule.

I am also inspired by the responses of some of the people throughout the Bible when God's call came upon their lives. Though each circumstance and calling varied, one common thread remained - availability.


I think of Abraham, called to leave his kindred and country to go into the unknown. He didn't question God about where he was taking him or even hint that it was inconvenient, it just says he departed.


I think of Rebekah, being newly aquainted with Abraham's servant and never having met Isaac responded with, "I will go."


And then Ruth, desiring to be there for her mother-in-law emphatically pleads, "Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God."


In response to God's cry of "Whom shall I send and who will go for us?'', Isaiah answered "Here am I; send me."


Two widows gave what little resources they had: the one opened her home to Elijah and shared what little meal she had knowing it was her last, the other gave two mites, unbeknownst to others that it was all of her living.


Mary's humble reply to the angel: "Behold, the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word."

Simon Peter and Andrew straightway left their nets and followed Jesus at His call.


And of course, we have the ultimate example of our Lord Who went about serving and doing good everywhere He went, in the end laying down His life for all mankind.


There are of course several others we could also name. I find these examples to be challenging and inspiring! I doubt that any of them in the end regretted making themselves available for the cause of a higher calling even though it many times required sacrifice, and most likely tested their faith. Not only were these people blessed for their acts of obedience and availability, but many times God was accomplishing a greater purpose behind the scenes that would be brought to light years down the road, that penetrates to our present time. Through the availability of many different people, the way was made for the promised Messiah, the Life-giving message proclaimed throughout the ages, and today we have a Redeemer, Jesus Christ our Lord! The impact that one person has in making him/herself available to God's calling in whatever it may be is almost astounding to me.


The resounding challenge rings out: am I available for Him?


When I think of the people that have touched my life, and that of my family's in some of the most meaningful ways, it was the ones who saw a need and made themselves available through their time,energy and/or resources to fill it. Having experienced the outpouring of God's love through His people, I am inspired to live a life out-poured for Christ, to reflect His love to others by being His hands and feet.


I am only one,

but I AM ONE.
And I cannot do everything,
But I can do SOMETHING.
And what I can do, I WILL DO.
And what I will do, I MUST DO,
For I AM ONE.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Keeper of Your Soul

I recently purchased a music cd and this song on it meant a lot to me. I think we all face broken dreams from time to time, if not all the time. Life doesn't always go as we may wish it to, or God for some unseen reason decides that that dream of ours isn't the best thing for us. I think many times God wants us to simply lay down our will, die to that dream and find Him to fully satisfy our longings. Is it always that easy? No, at least not for me, but what a comfort to know that He is the Keeper of my soul, He waits with open arms and in Him I can let my stuggles cease.

May God bless your day,
Jen


Take your broken dreams upon His holy mountain,
Lay them in His hands and let Him give you peace;
Your help comes from the Lord, He never slumbers, never sleeps.
Trust in Him, the keeper of your soul.

Chorus:
Lift your eyes unto the hills,
The Keeper waits with open arms.
He's calling you to go where the
Living waters flow.
Lift your eyes unto the hills.
He's standing there at heaven's gate,
He's calling you, the Keeper of your soul.

Take your broken heart upon His holy mountain,
Lay it in His hands and let your struggles cease.
Like the potter molds the clay, He can mend and make you whole.
Trust in Him, the Keeper of your soul.

Chorus.



Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you. 1 Peter 5:7

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Highest Ambition

The highest ambition asks that your life be given for the good of mankind, that you be of all the sevice possible and in the best possble manner. If this ambition is linked with a life wholly given to God, then all your life will indeed be worthwhile. - K. A.

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who...made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant...
Phil. 2:4,5&7

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Fill All My Vision

Fill all my vision, Saviour, I pray,
Let me see only Jesus today;
Though thro' the valley Thou leadest me,
Thy fadeless glory encompasseth me.

Fill all my vision, every desire
Keep for Thy glory; my soul inspire
With Thy perfection, Thy holy love
Flooding my pathway with light from above.

Fill all my vision, let nought of sin
Shadow the brightness shining within.
Let me see only Thy blessed face,
Feasting my soul on Thy infinite grace.

Fill all my vision, Saviour divine,
Til with Thy glory my spirit shall shine.
Fill all my vision, that all may see
Thou holy Image reflected in me.

- Avis B. Christiansen

Fill all my vision...may that be the cry of my heart.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Age - It's All a Matter of Perspective!

I find it interesting to observe older people and their strong character dispositions. There are those who are like a warm sunbeam, faces glowing and pleasant to be around, and some who are still young at heart and have not lost their wonderful sense of humor - they are usually still full of life and vigor. And then, sad, but true, there are those that are perpetually negative and grumpy. We get all kinds that come thru at the nursery. It can be either a real joy, and even great fun to help them pick out their plants, or a real headache!! Anyway, it makes me really think of the person I am now, cause it's been said that whatever your character disposition is now, it will be so much more that way when you are old!! I would hope that I'd be the fun type that hasn't lost my sense of humor or joy in living!!

True, life can throw some pretty hard curve balls our way, but let's not be defeated with discouragement, bitterness or depression. Our God knows all we face and is able to supply the grace to face each trial and still find joy in each day. And no, I'm not saying we should walk around with our heads in the clouds, but neither should we bury them in the sand!! So if we can't stop growing old, lets at least determine to stay young at heart!

Life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it.

Most people say that as you get old, you have to give up things. I think you get old because you give up things.

- Theodore Francis Green

You don't stop laughing because you grow old; you grow old because you stop laughing.

- Michael Pritchard

When people tell you how young you look, they are really telling you how old you are. (Does that mean I'm eighteen?!!)

- Cary Grant

A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.

- John Barrymore

We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.

- George Bernard Shaw

Age is a matter of mind. If you don't mind, it don't matter.

- Leroy Paige

Monday, May 26, 2014

To All My Friends...

FRIENDS ARE...

Friends are blessings in this life:
Treasures, gemstones, rare.
And if we're wise, we'll cherish them
As gifts beyond compare.

Friends are life-lines in this life,
When storm clouds do arise,
Helping us to look above,
To Jesus in the skies.

Friends are beacons in this life,
Lighting up the way
With laughter, smiles, teasing,
In bright or cloudy days.

Friends are comfort in this life,
Praying when it's rough,
Helping you through thick and thin;
By you when it's tough.

Friends are "stickers" in this life,
Patient, caring, strong,
Revealing gently where we've failed,
And how we've been wrong.

Friends are faithful if they're true.
Lord, make me loyal, kind;
Lord, help me "stick" to all my friends
As You would stick to Thine.

- Miriam Rainwater

A man that hath FRIENDS MUST show himself friendly; and there is a FRIEND who STICKETH closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24

To all my friends near and far - This poem echoes my heart! I'm so thankful that God has brought each of you into my life. Y'all have been a strength and encouragement to me along life's journey and in seeking the Kingdom as followers together. Can't imagine how life would be without one another's laughter, smiles, and teasing, or how heavy it would be without eachother's prayers, helping hands and words of cheer. I'm afraid I don't always take the time to express how meaningful each of your friendships are to me...they are truly gifts beyond compare! Thank you to each one!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Well of Living Water



The greatest miracle that God can do today is take an unholy man out of an unholy world and make him holy, then put him back into that unholy world and keep him holy in it.
- Leonard Ravenhill

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
1 Peter 2:9

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
1 Peter 1:13-16

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.
1 Jn 4:4

Monday, May 19, 2014

May the Mind of Christ, My Savior

May the mind of Christ, my Savior,
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and power controlling
All I do and say.

May the Word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may triumph
Only through His pow'r

May the peace of God, my Father,
Rule my life in everything,
That I may be calm to comfort
Sick and sorrowing.

May the love of Jesus fill me,
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self de-basing-
This is victory.

May I run the race before me,
Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only to Jesus
As I onward go.

May His beauty rest upon me
As I seek the lost to win;
And may they forget the channel,
Only seeing Him.

- a hymn by Kate B. Wilkinson

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Blessed is He

Blessed is he whose faith is not offended,
When all around His way
The power of God is working deliverance
For others day by day;

Though in some prison drear his own soul languish,
Till life itself be spent,
Yet still can trust his Father's love and purpose,
And rest therein content.

Blessed is he, who through long years of suffering,
Cut off from active toil,
Still shares by prayer and praise the work of others,
And thus "divides the spoil."

Blessed are thou, O child of God, who sufferest,
And canst not understand
The reason of for thy pain, yet gladly leavest
Thy life in His blest Hand.

Yea, blessed art thou whose faith is "not offended"
By trials unexplained,
By mysteries unsolved, past understanding,
Until the goal is gained.

- Freda Hanbury Allen

I found the above poem to be very meaningful to me. There are days when I have felt totally imprisoned, when I feel like I'm not where I want to be in life or when I have a desire to be apart of certain ministry opportunities and for one reason or another the door is shut. The fact that we are followers of Christ does not exclude us from pain, suffering, temptations, or unfortunate circumstances, and just because we strive to follow holiness, faith and purity doesn't mean it's gonna be easy and life is gonna go just as we may desire, and even pray for it to be. On the contrary, "many are the afflictions of the righteous, but (praise God,) the LORD delivereth him out of them all." (Ps 34:19) Jesus indicated that following Him would be difficult when He told His disciples "blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me." (Luke 7:23) He will ask hard things of us. Yet, His grace is there to sustain us in those difficulties and His peace passeth all understanding when we yield our wills to His. How often I have found myself where I have least desired, and the circumstances have pressed sore against me. Yet, through every dark valley comes a beam of sunlight and just when I have felt that I couldn't take another step He shows me His love in new and deeper ways than I had ever known before.
When every prop is taken out from under you, when hopes are dashed, when darkness surrounds you, or you feel imprisoned, let's look to the eyes of our loving Saviour. He knows the meaning of suffering, of pain and afflictions, and He will not leave us comfortless.

Blessings,
Jen

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mom



Mom -

Your love has made all the difference in the world. We are so blessed to have you for our mom! How can we thank you for all you are and all you've done?

- for your heart of love for children and desiring a big family right from the offset.

- for coming home to be with us children when having a secondary income was probably more than just convenient at the time.

- for staying up late nights when were sick.

- for homeschooling us and sticking with it even when the going got tough.

- for giving us a love for learning.

- for encouraging us in our dreams.

- for always being there no matter what.

Mom, some of my fondest memories are all nights you'd read aloud to us the "Little House" series, "From Wealth to Faith," "Hidden Rainbow," "The family Nobody Wanted," and countless other books. No matter what it was, you always had a way of making every story come alive!

You've instilled in me a heart for others, especially children, the unborn and the elderly.

You've inspired me to look beyond myself and to other's needs, and to have a willing and serving heart.

You've given me a love and passion for home and family; a desire to serve God by serving those He placed closest to me; and a vision of one day being a godly wife and mother, of raising godly seed, and of family ministry.

Most of all, you taught us God's love, to seek Him and His Word and to pursue holiness.

Thank you for choosing one of the most worthy vocations God has given women, that of being mother. What would we do without you? We are truly blessed!

Love you, Mom!!

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!

Her children arise up and call her blessed. Prov.31:28

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Something to Someone

You cannot be everything to everyone,
But you can be something to someone.

For while some people have a shoulder to cry on,
Others must cry alone.

We should always remember:
To God, no one is just another person.

Touch gently the lives around you,
For the human heart shapes as easily
As clay upon the potter's wheel.

Make another's path a little clearer,
Their steps a little lighter,
By walking beside them in love.

Bring joy to others while part of their lives;
Make them feel that they truly mean
Something to someone.

For the care we show to others,
If it is an outflow of the love of Christ,
Can point them to Him like nothing else could.

The goal of the compassion and care
We pour on others is to show them
That they mean something to God,
So they can turn to the One who cares
And He would become their everything.

- Unknown

This is the prayer of my heart. I truly hope I can be something to the people God brings into my life, from the people that are closest to me to the shoppers I may only spend 5 minutes with at work, that may sense God's love in a dark, cold world.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Please Pray...


Please pray for the Rob Tittle family. I don't know this family or really anything about them to speak of, but my heart goes out to them. Rob and his two daughters, Tori (20) and Rebekah (14) lost their lives this last week as a tornado crushed down on their home in Arkansas. Kerry Tittle and her seven other children are left to pick up the pieces of their lives with no husband/father. Their home was totally stripped to the foundation of everthing.
So if you would think of it, please pray for them.
http://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/life-issues/challenges/death-and-dying/the-lord-gives-the-lord-takes-away#.U2JejfxOnJu

Monday, April 28, 2014

Content to Wait



Content to linger, content to rest -

content to wait for Your very best.

And though it seems You tarry long,

In the night You give a song

And whisper, "Wait, be still."


Content to linger, content to stay

Content to wait for Your perfect way.

Knowing You are in conrol,

I rest the keeping of my soul

Upon Your loving will.


-AMP

..for they shall not be ashamed that wait for Me.
Isaiah 49:23

What rest, what peace there is in surrendering our way and will to our all-knowing, wise and loving Father. What assurance there is in knowing that He truly cares for His own and will not subject us to unnecessary pain or waiting. The path He chooses is for good, and so we are able to rest in His leading, be it slow, or perhaps a path we might not necessarily have chosen for ourselves, but as Mrs. Charles Spurgeon once said, "It is a mercy that our lives are not left for us to plan, but that our Father chooses for us; else we might sometimes turn away from our best blessings, and put away from us the choicest and loveliest gifts of His providence."

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Theft-Resistant Trucks

Here are the top 10 reasons farm and ranch trucks are rarely stolen.

10. They only have a range of 20 miles before they break down or run out of gas.

9. Only the owner knows how to operate the broken door latch to get in or out.

8. It's hard to drive fast with all the fencing tools, ropes, chains and loose paper flying around the cab.

7. It's hard to see through the cloud of smoke coming through the floor board.

6. The dog on the tool box looks mean.

5. They're too easy to spot. A police description would sound something like: "The driver's side door is primer red, the right front fender is gray..."

4. The big round bale in the bed makes it hard to tell if you're being chased.

3. Top speed is 45 mph.

2. Who wants a truck that needs U-joints, $5,000 in body work, a new windshield...

And the number 1 reason farm trucks are rarely stolen: It's hard to commit a crime when everyone you drive past waves at you.

So if you ever get to feeling down that your vehicle is in pretty rough shape, look at the positive side...at least it's more theft-resistant!! :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Book Nook



Evidence Not Seen. Darlene Deibler Rose recounts her four years in a Japanese prison camp in the jungles of New Guinea during World II as a young, newlywed missionary. Here is an amazing story of unshakeable faith in her Lord in the midst of terror and persecution. She shares many stories of God's faithfulness and miraculous provision during the dark days of prison life. A book I would encourage anyone to read. Your faith will be strengthened as you do.

Find her book @ http://www.christianbook.com/apps/product?item_no=70207&event=ESRCN|M  or I also have a copy I would be happy to lend to friends.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Mercy Seat

From every stormy wind that blows,
From every swelling tide of woes,
There is a calm, a sure retreat;
Tis found beneath the mercy seat.

There is a place where Jesus sheds
The oil of gladness on our heads,
A place that all besides more sweet;
It is the blood-bought mercy seat.

There is a scene where spirits blend,
Where friend holds fellowship with friend;
Tho' sundered far, by faith they meet
Around one common mercy seat.

Ah! Whither could we flee for aid,
When tempted, desolate, dismayed;
Or how the hosts of hell defeat,
Had suffering saints no mercy seat?

There, there on eagles wings we soar,
And sin and sense molest no more;
And heaven comes down our souls to greet,
While glory crowns the mercy seat.

- Hugh Stowell

Praise God for the mercy seat!  I am so thankful for that calm and sure retreat, a place to find renewment and strength in Christ to meet the storms of life. A place to flee from the pressures of the world around me. A place to cry my heart out, to find healing, to find comfort, and to find joy and gladness. A place where friend holds fellowship with friend, and though miles may span the distance, their spirits still blend. A place of peace, a place of rest, and a place of drinking deeply of the Living Water that gives life to the weary and fainting heart - the blood-bought mercy seat!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Power of Example

Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing. -Albert Schweitzer

My sister, Hannah, recently reminded Wendy and I of a time 7 or 8 years ago when we were preparing for company. Our uncle and aunt were coming from out of state and Wendy was busy in the kitchen making bread and I was down scrubbing the dining room floor on my hands and knees.

It was a day that had faded into our memories, but for Hannah, it was one that left its mark on her young mind. Only about 8 years old, yet she was watching and relayed to us recently that she told herself that day that that was the kind of woman she wanted to grow up to be - one that bakes bread and scrubs the floor. True to her resolve, Hannah has become just that and more...she rolls up her sleeves and goes to work with earnest zeal baking bread, scrubbing floors, and numerous other household tasks and chores. Whatever she puts her hand to, she does it wholeheartedly.

Wendy and I were somewhat taken back that such common household work had impressed her mind in such a way to mold her into the young lady she is today. Then as we were considering it, we wondered, "could it be she sensed our passion for what we were doing?" Instead of finding baking bread or scrubbing floors to be drudgery, we rather kind of revelled in what we were doing. (Anyone who knows me, knows that I nearly disdain mopping; in my experience, it's nearly impossible to get the floor clean with a mop - it just smears the dirt, while on the other hand, it comes up sparkling clean after a good scrubbing the old fashion way! And anyone who knows Wendy, knows she loves baking bread!)

Often times, I fall lethargic to the reality of the influence I have on others, and that little incident was a wake up call to me. If I was an influence in what seemed to be a menial household task, in what other ways am I impacting my younger siblings or those I come in contact with? Am I a positive influence or negative? What other little eyes may be watching unbeknownst to me? Am I setting forth an example for others to follow in? What do people see me to be passionate about - is my zeal in Christ or in the common things of life such as volleyball games, chasing dreams and making money? Do I put as much passion into studying the Word and prayer as I do in other things? What about serving others, giving to the poor and helping the needy? Is my love for the Lord evident for all to see? These are areas I'm challenged in.

Just as we worked and had no idea that we were impacting an eight year old who was watching on that day, we never know what time, place or person we might be impacting in our day to day lives. A sobering thought for sure. May we be "an example of the believers in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, and in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12)

Blessings to each one,
Jen

Monday, April 14, 2014

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Prayer - The Christian's Weapon

The following is taken from Andrew Murray's book, "The Prayer Life:"

The Storm Center on the Battlefield

Mention was made in the conference of the expression "stratigic position" used so often in reference to the great strife between the kingdom of heaven and the powers of darkness.

When a general chooses the place from which he intends to strike the enemy, he pays closest attention to those points which he thinks are the most important in the fight. Thus there was on the battlefield of Waterloo a farmhouse which Wellington immediately saw as the key to the situation. He did not spare his troops in his endeavor to bold that point: the victory depended on it. So it actually happened. It is the same in the conflict between the believer and the powers of darkness. The inner chamber is the place where the decisive victory is obtained.

The enemy uses all his power to lead the Christian, and above all the minister to neglect prayer. He knows that however admirable the sermon may be, however attractive the service, however faithful the pastoral visitation, none of these things can damage him or his kingdom if prayer is neglected. When the Church shuts herself up to the power of the inner chamber, and the soldiers of the Lord have received on their knees "power from on high," then the powers of darkness will be shaken and souls delivered. In the Church, on the mission field, with the minister and his congregation, everything depends on the faithful exercise of the power of prayer...

...Two persons quarrel over a certain point. We call them Christian and Apollyon. Apollyon notices that Christian has a certain weapon which would give him a sure victory. They meet in deadly strife, and Apollyon resolves to take away the weapon from his opponent and destroy it. For the moment the main cause of the strife has become subordinate; the great point now is who shall get possession of the weapon on which everthing depends? It is of vital importance to get hold of that.

So it is in the conflict between Satan and the believer. God's child can conquer everything by prayer. Is it any wonder that Satan does his utmost to snatch that weapon from the Christian, or to hinder him in the use of it?

How now does Satan hinder prayer? By temptation to postpone or curtail it, by bringing in wandering thoughts and all sorts of distractions, or through unbelief and hopelessness. Happy is the prayer hero who, who through it all, takes care to hold fast and use his weapon.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tuesday Tonic

A Lighter Look at Life

An elderly couple was sitting out on the porch enjoying a lovely evening, when the man said to his wife, "I think I'm going to go in and get a big dish of ice cream. Would you like one, too?"
"Yes I would, but I'd like only one scoop, and I'd like chocolate syrup on it. You better write that down, because you know how forgetful you are."
"I don't need to write it down. I've got it. One scoop and chocolate syrup. "
"Yes. And put some nuts on it, too. Can you remember that?"
"Of course I can remember that - one scoop, chocolate syrup and nuts."
"And put a cherry on top of that. Now, can you remember all that - you know how forgetful you're getting!"
I've got it, Martha! I've got it!"
For the next ten minutes, she heard him rummaging around the kitchen, banging pots and pans and whatnot. Finally he showed up with two plates of scrambled eggs and bacon.
"See, what did I tell you?" she said, throwing up her hands. "You didn't write it down, and now you forgot the toast!"

Saturday, April 5, 2014

That They May Be One

I was encouraged and convicted the other day when I sat through a message concerning God's heart for His people. Afterwards, I was prompted to take a deeper look into the subject of unity. Here are some things I've been thinking about since the message:

Jesus' prayer for you and I who name the name of Christ is that we may be one.

"That all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me." (John17:21)

As I read further, I noticed Jesus prayed that prayer "to be one" three times.

"To be one" speaks to me of being one in heart and one in spirit. It's more than just a common interest that brings us together....that happens all over - bikers, crafters, chess players, homeschoolers, etc., will travel miles to come together or will meet over internet websites because they have common interest. But for us, it goes much deeper than having some common interest that brings us together - we have "the Spirit of adoption." We have been made the children of God, ...."and if children heirs; heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ." (Romans 8:15-17) " We have one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all." As we are one body, we are to "endeavor to keep the unity in the bond of peace, (Eph. 4:3-6) so that the world may believe.

If we proclaim Christ, but cannot dwell together in unity, how will the world believe? We offer no more than what they already have as far as the world is concerned.

This got me to pondering key elements of being one and dwelling together in unity.

▪ Grace and Humility
Paul beseeches us to walk worthy of this vocation that we are called to "with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love." Here I see a call to grace, humility, and understanding. We come from many different backgrounds, each with different experiences and stories, and so we have various perspectives. Not one of us is at the same level of spirituality. We each have our strengths and weaknesses, and where we may have grown in truth in one area, there may be another area of truth that we are blind to....this challenges me to have grace and understanding for those who do not see things the same as I do and humility in realizing a difference in perspective could be my blind spot. It also makes me think to be appreciative of my brother's differences, outlooks and perspectives as we can always learn from eachother.

▪ Communication
Paul exhorts us to "let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying..." (Eph 4:29) Negativity and critisism will tear people apart. Paul warns: "If ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another." (Gal 5:15) This causes me to ponder and evaluate what I communicate - is it negative talk or is it positive, encouraging and edifying?

▪ Forgiveness
We are all fallen men, and we will fail eachother at one time or another....count on it! The only one who will never fail us is God. My dad has reminded me that over and over. Since we will at one time or another experience offences, it is important to keep a heart of forgiveness and not allow bitterness to take root - to let the past be the past, to let go of the offence, and embrace the offender with love and forgiveness, and move on.

"You can't hold a man down without staying down with him." Same is true if we can't forgive.

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. " (Eph 4:32)

▪ Prayer

"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." (Eph 6:18)

This is an area I want and need to grow in.

Do we take time, real time, lifting eachother up before tbe throne of grace? Do we take time to hear eachothers burdens, cares and struggles so we can better pray for them? Do we communicate our own burdens, needs and weaknesses so that our brother may know how to pray?

We are not all called to preach, teach or evangelize, etc., but we can all pray!!

I believe the more we hold eachother up in prayer, the more we'll be united in spirit and the more God can do through His people.

▪ Abide in Christ

It is of utmost importance!

"Abide in Me , and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. (John 15:4)

We cannot truly love our brother until the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. We cannot give what we do not have. To do these things in our strength will result in utter failure. Only as we abide in Christ will we be able to become one with Him and one with eachother.

As I've pondered this whole subject, I've come away with a fresh perspective of the Church and renewed desire to actively be one in heart and spirit with the brethren God has placed me with!

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Psalm 133:1

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fitly Spoken


The real secret of an unsatisfied life
lies too often in an unsurrendered will.

- J. Hudson Taylor

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Family Economy


Reestablishing the Family Economy - A Biblical Imperative
Thought I'd share this link to a chapter on family economy from the book "The Deliberate Agrarian." The author is a family friend of ours, Herrick Kimball. Here is a call to step back from the industrial revolution that is tearing down families and to begin pursuing a family based economy as was designed from the beginning. As Herrick says, it's not something most of us can just up and do overnight, but it is something a person or family can take steps toward, even if it is in small ways.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Poured Out Wine



If we are not in full , consious allegiance to our Lord it has nothing to do with our personal salvation with this broken bread and poured out wine aspect of life. God can never make me wine if I object to the fingers He uses to crush me. If God would only crush me with His own fingers, and say, "Now My son, I am going to make you broken bread and poured out wine in a particular way and everyone will know what I am doing." But when He uses someone who is not a Christian, or someone I particularly don't like, or some set of circumstances which I said I would never submit to, and begins to make these the crushers, I object.

I must never choose the scene of my own martyrdom, nor must I choose the things God will use in order to make me broken bread and poured out wine. His own Son did not choose. God chose for His Son that He should have a devil in His company for three years. We say, "I want angels; I want people better than myself; I want everything to be significantly from God, otherwise I cannot live the life, or do the thing properly; I always want to be gilt-edged." Let God do as He likes. If you are ever going to be wine to drink, you must be crushed. Grapes cannot be drunk; grapes are only wine when they have been crushed. I wonder what kind of coarse finger and thumb God has been using to squeeze you, and you have been like a marble and escaped? You are not ripe yet, and if God had squeezed you, the wine that came out would have been remarkably bitter. Let God go on with His crushing, because it will work His purpose in the end.

- Oswald Chambers


"God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever"

- Vance Havner

I think of the lives of Corrie Ten Boon, Darlene Deibler Rose (missionary and POW during WW2), Joseph Scriven (who wrote the hymn, What a Friend We Have in Jesus), and many others who have lost loved ones, suffered long term illnesses, or experienced a series of unfortunate events, and that have been crushed through very difficult, and even horrific circumstances.
They knew their Lord and rather than becoming bitter, they recognized that their trials and sufferings were from His hand, refining and making them vessels for His glory, and thus became sweet wine. Some of the sweetest people I have talked with are the ones who have suffered much. It is so beautiful to hear their stories end with "God is so good." I recently talked to a woman that lost her husband a few years ago unexpectedly. She had the sweetest spirit and repeatedly expressed how blessed she was despite her suffering. It is men and women like these whose lives portray the God that is bigger than any circumstance.

I look at my own life and my own sufferings, which are small in comparison to many, and realize that I am many times like the hard marble. If I am not in concious alliegance to the Lord and the things He is using to crush me with, then I miss out on the opportunity of becoming more like Christ, of letting God accomplish what He wants to do in my life, of knowing Jesus more intimantly, and of glorifying my Father.

Oh, that I would be broken bread and poured out wine. I would hope that through whatever trials I may suffer, that my life would be as the broken alabaster box, giving forth a sweet perfume to those around me.

...That God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:11

Thursday, March 27, 2014

As Clay



As clay within the potter's hands,
Lord, help me to be be;
Pliant, humble, unresisting,
Yielded unto Thee;
So that Thou canst form and fashion,
In Thy perfect way,
Just the vessel that Thou needest
For Thy work today.

Shape and pattern, style or color,
Are not mine to choose;
And a place of lowly service,
I may not refuse.
Only let me know dear Father,
Thou dost guide the wheel,
And the closeness of Thy fingers,
Daily let me feel.

Then although the process lengthen,
Or unpleasant grow,
All who view the polished vessel,
Shall its Maker know.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Goodly Heritage

Today was my mom and dad's 36th wedding anniversary.

I feel so blessed to have parents who stepped beyond the norm of today's casual Christianity to give us children so much more, even though it meant going in a different direction of friends and family, leaving behind the American dream, and being dubbed as legalistic for following the truths and commandments of God's Word.

As I look back at the decisions my parents made and the flack they received for the direction God led them in, I am so grateful they stood firm in their convictions.
Had they chose to follow the American ideal of only having one or two children, I would not be here, along with my four younger siblings. But rather, they chose to see children as a blessing and allow God to determine the size of their family.

I'm thankful for their decision to homeschool us when homeschooling was almost unheard of; sheltering us from worldy philosophies, temptations, and peer pressure.

Removing television from the home and giving us much reading material, outdoor activities, and animals, not to mention teaching us not only how to work, but also to love work, they gave us a full and never boring life!

I am so thankful for all the teaching they poured into our lives through family devotions, character-building reading material, and sound, biblical teaching and preaching of the Word.
They taught us the way of holiness; to deny worldy lusts, and to pursue radical Christianity.

What more could we ask for?? !!!


When I consider all they have given me, this song comes to mind:

I may not have riches as some others may,
But I have a mother who knows how to pray.
And maybe there's some things I missed in my youth,
But I have a father who stands for the truth.

Chorus:
I have a goodly heritage. I'm blessed with things you can't see.
 I have a goodly heritage, and that's worth far more to me.

And if in the future, my parents pass on,
To dwell in the City we've come to call Home.
They may not leave me the goods of this world,
but I have accepted their God and His Word.

I have a goodly heritage. I'm blessed with things you can't see.
I have everything, all that I need, all that I need, treasures unseen,
AND THAT IS WORTH FAR MORE TO ME.

(I wish I could have actually shared a link to hear this sung, but couldn't find a good rendition)

Thank you so much, Mom and Dad, for all you've poured into our lives.
Happy Anniversary!!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sewing Days


Had our friend, Casey, over three different days and the three of us went all out sewing! Lots of good laughs, sewing frustrations, and seam ripping, but perseverance prevails and our projects are coming together!!







Everything is Funner with Friends!!!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Transplanting Frenzy


Had two full days of transplanting with my friend, Laura. Together, we put out these 3000+ plants! Talk about a real transplanting frenzy!!

Fitly Spoken

A little thing is a little thing.
But faithfulness in a little thing
is a great thing.

-J.Hudson Taylor

He that is faihful in that which is least is faithful
also in much...    Luke 16:10

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Goodness of God Surrounding Me

Been thinking of the phrase in the song I posted the other day, "The goodness that's surrounding me from the heart of God so kind." I started thinking of all the things God has blessed me with, and how I so often take those things for granted. I was then inspired to make a list in my journal of several things I am truly blessed with:

• God's love for me, His redeeming power and the blood that cleanses me from all sin.

• Not only saved, but also adopted; a daughter of the King of kings. I can call out, Abba, Father!

• He has given me all things that pertain unto life and godliness.

• He sustains my very life, my every heartbeat.

• I am richly blessed with loving family, godly parents, and siblings that make the bestest of friends.

• I have been given a goodly heritage; parents who chose to take the less traveled road, follow after holiness, and strove to give us a Godly upbringing.

• I'm blessed with the best dad ever! Blessed to have a dad that prays for me, that understands me, that loves me, that protects me, and that desires the very best for me.

• I'm blessed with the dearest mom! Blessed to have a mom that also loves me and prays for me. Blessed to have a mom that sacrificed her job to come home to be with us children, who gave her time to homeschooling, and also desires the best for us.

• I am richly blessed with friends who accept me for who I am with all my quirks and flaws. :) Blessed with friends with whom to share a laugh, bear each other's burdens, inspire, encourage, hold one another in prayer, and walk together in the narrow way.

• I am blessed to have the Word of God in my own language and freedom to carry it, read it, and study it when so many are without.

• I have been blessed to sit under sound, biblical teaching. Teaching that calls me to pursue radical Christianity in today's world.

• I am blessed with good health.

• I have never known hunger.

• I am surrounded with the beauty of nature and the handiwork of my Creator.

I AM TRULY BLESSED!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Providential History

For those of you who like history! I've always enjoyed history, especially accounts where God's hand was clearly seen in orchestrating certain events and outcomes throughout time. Here is one I think you'll find quite interesting described by Victor Hugo concerning Napoleon and the battle of Waterloo:

On the morning of the battle, the little dictator stood gazing upon the field of battle as he described to his commanding officer his stragedy for that day's campaign.

"We will put the the infantry here, the calvary there, the artillery here. At the end of the day England will be at the feet of France and Wellington will be prisoner of Napoleon."

After a pause the commanding officer said, "But we must not forget that man proposes but God disposes."

With arrogant pride, the little dictator stretched his body to full height and replied, "I want you to understand, sir, that Napoleon proposes and Napoleon disposes."

From that moment, Waterloo was lost, for God sent rain and hail so that the troops of Napoleon could not maneuver as he had planned, and on the night of the battle it was Napoleon who was the prisoner of Wellington, and France at the feet of England.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Overcoming Discouragement

I was thinking of discouragement today and ways to overcome it. The last few months have brought about various circumstances that have given room for discouragement to pop up, and this morning was one of those times. I have to admit that patience is not my strong point in life. It's one of those things that I'm slow in learning. I like to see things happen and if it's not happening I want to jump in and do what I can to make it happen! Unfortunately, there are some things in life that are out of my element to do anything about, but sit back and wait. Waiting of course involves patience, so that's another one of my weak points! It's probably a really good thing that I'm not able to take everything into my own hands tho, cause I'd probably make a big mess of things! :) Anyways, discouragement popped it's head up this morning when I started thinking of my car that's been parked in the driveway the last several weeks after a road trip accident that left it possibly unrepairable. It's kinda out of my realm to find out what can actually be done for it, who can do it, get an estimate on repair costs, and what not. I've been pretty anxious to see what can be done about it, especially as the weeks continue to slip by. Needless to say, I was feeling prettty discouraged, wondering if we'll ever get back on the road. Sometimes questions flood my mind "why the accident?" Certainly God could have prevented it. But then I'm called to bear in mind God's loving mercy in sparing our lives. It's not for me to question the "why" about it, but rather offer back to Him a life of praise and worship for His loving kindness and tender mercies, and to try to learn from the lessons God had for me through the accident - a new understanding that He sustaines every breath I breathe; that He is in ultimate control of my life, my hopes, my dreams, my future, my all; that I can fully trust Him when things in life are totally out of my control, to stop fighting the wheel and to trust Him to land me safely, as I did that night when the car was spinning uncontrollably.
As I've been faced with discouragement, not just in the area of my car, but also other various trials throughout life - when things press against my will, a struggle in a relationship, a spiritual attack from the enemy, or simply having to wait in darkness, I've learned, and am still learning, to recognize it is from God. He allows these things to come into our lives to refine and purify us for His glory. It's hard for discouragement to grow when we recognize that whatever situation or trial we face is from His loving hand.
Secondly, I've learned to thank Him in the trials. Discouragement cannot grow in a thankful heart. Even when we can't see the reason behind the trial, we can thank God for the things we don't see as yet. The following song from the cd, Adopted, has become very precious to me as I've gone through various night seasons in life.

Thank you, Father, for the night time,
for the promise of the day.
Thank you for your mercies
and the truth of all you say.
Thank you for the grace you give
to strengthen me in faith,
And countless helps you send along the way.

Chorus:

I can't wait to thank you
for the things I haven't seen as yet;
the way your hand has guided me
to keep me out of Satan's net.
The things I thought were hurting me
were turned into my good.
How can I ever thank you as I should?

Thank you for the ones I love,
The blessings of my life,
The goodness that's surrounding me
from the heart of God so kind.
Thank you that you're holding me
today and everyday,
and countless helps you send along the way.

Lastly, I was thinking how discouragement crumbles when we put our faith in God. When I am down and feeling more than discouraged; when everything seems totally hopeless, I find that just going to the Word and dwelling on His promises, He renews my strength, my hope is restored, and I am able to go on with peace, even through the darkness, trusting His guiding hand. I love the verse in Psalms: Why art thou cast down, O my soul? Why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." (42:11) God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we could ask or think, He is able to make all grace abound toward you, He is able to keep you from falling, He will never leave you or forsake you, He knoweth the way you take, and He makes all things beautiful in His time...and so many more precious promises.
In some ways, I feel my trials right now are minuscule compared to what some of you are going through and the trials you're facing, but I do know what deep discouragement is from the past and my prayers are with you. May you find hope and encouragement as you continue to let God perfect His purpose in these things, and in knowing that with God all things are possible!


Blessings on your day,
Jenna

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Weight of the Cross

The crowd pressed in to see this Man
Who stood condemned to die,
A Man they once proclaimed as King,
They now would crucify.
They laid a cross upon His back,
And pushed Him up the road.
The path would lead to Calvary,
He fell beneath the load.
And as I watched I understood
The burden that He bore
Was more than just a heavy tree;
The weight was so much more.

Chorus:
The weight of the cross was the weight of my sin,
Not the weight of the tree that was carried by Him.
My guilt and disgrace Jesus bore in my place.
On Calvary's road, 'neath he weight of the cross.

His face was scarred, His body bruised,
His head was crowned with thorns.
The crowd now jeered and cursed His name the object of their scorn.
He never spoke a word to them the silent Lamb of God.
This Man of sorrow bore the cross; He chose to carry on.
But somehow in His eyes I saw a love beyond the pain.
As if He knew His sacrifice would be my gain.

Chorus

On which the Prince of Glory died.

- Christopher Machen

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Set A Watch



Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the doors of my lips. Psalms141:3

I've been thinking a lot over the last few months about words, conversation, and the things I say, especially when it comes to speaking to and of others. Words really do have power - they can uplift and they can destroy, and once spoken, can never be retrieved. I've learned some lessons the difficult way when it comes to the area of the tongue. Through deep repentance and striving to master my words, I have been driven to seek out verses and such like about the tongue - a sobering search. Here I'll share some of what has really spoken to me.
 James describes the tongue as a fire, a world of iniquity...an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.(Jam. 3:6+8) and Solomon compares it to the piercings of a sword. (Prov.12:18) Death and life are in the power of the tongue. (Prov 18:21) What words do we speak to others? Are we giving life or are we causing death by the things we say? When upset or angry, do we lash out what comes first to our minds? Someone once said, "Speak when you're angry, and you'll give the biggest speech you'll ever regret." Are we busy running around learning and spreading all the knewest, juiciest news to be had? Paul gives firm admonishings about being busybodies. Do we ever wonder why there is so much trouble in the Church today? It seems that someone always has something to say about the other. Are we careful to keep that which someone has told us in confidence? "A talebearer revealeth secrets, but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth a matter. (Prov.11:13) And just because we know something, doesn't mean it's always wise to share it. "A prudent man concealeth knowledge." (Prov. 12:23) and "He that hath knowledge spareth his words.."(Prov. 17:27)



  Do we consider how we might be hurting someone by what say either to them or about them? Are we careful not to slander another's name or reputation? Are we careful not to put another down in order to raise ourselves up? Edward Paxton Hood states: "When we advance a little in life, we find that the tongue of man creates nearly all the mischief in the world." I believe we can safely say that that is true. May we heed Paul's words, "to study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands." (1Thess. 4:11) May we remember that "A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city. (Prov.18:19)  And may we endeavor "to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace," (Eph.4:3)..."to walk in love (Eph.5:1)...and that our "speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt." (Col. 4:6)
May God bless,
Jenna

Fitly Spoken

The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one has to do.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

It's the Life!

SIMPLE CHARM. A FRIENDLY FARM,
FILLED WITH FAMILY LAUGHTER,
COZY QUILTS AND HOMESPUN YARNS.
IT'S THE COUNTRY LIFE I'M AFTER!!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Opportunity



Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
- Thomas Edison



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Going Out



He went out, not knowing where he was going. Hebrews 11:8

Have you ever "gone out" in this way? If so, there is no logical answer possible when anyone asks you what you are doing. One of the most difficult questions to answer in Christian work is, "What do you expect to do?" You don't know what you are going to do. The only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing. Continually examine your attitude toward God to see if you are willing to "go out" in every area of your life, trusting in God entirely. It is this attitude that keeps you in constant wonder, because you don't know what God is going to do next. Each morning as you wake, there is new opportunity to "go out," building your confidence in God. "...do not worry about your life. ..nor about the things that concerned you before you did "go out."
Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you what He is going to do - He reveals to you who He is. Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you "go out" in complete surrender to Him until you are not surprised one iota by anything He does?
Believe God is always the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him. Then think how unnecessary and disrespectful worry is! Let the attitude of your life be a continual willingness to "go out" dependence upon God, and your life will have a sacred and inexperessible charm about it that is very satisfying to Jesus. You must learn to "go out" through your convictions, creeds, or experiences until you come to the point in your faith where there is nothing between yourself and God.
- My Utmost For His Highest, edited edition

This devotional has really blessed me as at different times God has asked me to "go out" in ways I don't understand, oftentimes calling me to a step of obedience in opposition to my desires and the way I'd like for things to be.
"Going out" comes in so many forms and variations, many times touching a particular thing or area in our lives that we grow to depend upon, trust in, and find our happiness in, whether that be our reputation, a status quo, a relationship, a particular object or a passion that drives and motivates us such as a dream, vision or activity.
To "go out" might mean speaking the truth when no one wants to hear it, standing strong in the convictions God has placed in your heart even when it doesn't make sense to others, submitting to your authorities even when it hurts or you don't really understand their reasoning.
We sometimes wonder what the outcome of such an act of obedience will result in. To "go out" could mean loss of reputation, being misunderstood, being accused of legalism, loss of friendships, dashed hopes, and shattered dreams. It may cause deep, inward pain, heartache, and tears. The one thing I'm reminded of each time God asks me to "go out" is that He is simply looking for a heart of obedience that demonstrates and proves to Him that nothing stands in the way of my love and devotion to Him.
And because I know my Father, that "He doth not afflict willingly" (Lam3:33) and that He "honours those that honour Him" (1 Sam 2:30) am I able to "go out" in faith and obedience believing that no matter the outcome, "as for God, His way is perfect."

Hope it blessed you as it blessed me.
~ Jen

Monday, February 24, 2014

Brothers



Brothers: they make the greatest friends, protectors, comrades, encouragers, teasers, and advisors...and I'm doubly blessed to have two of them!!!