Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Character of God

The past few weeks I've been learning about the character of God. I've been walking down a very difficult path and having to make some heartbreaking decisions. I'm clinging to the promise that God is Sovereign and that He is for me! I'm trying so hard to seek His face and not just His hands as I give my dream over to Him not knowing if it will crumble around me or flourish. Ever been there?



I've been doing a Bible study called "Discerning the Voice of God" by Priscilla Shirer. During her teaching time the other day she mentioned how God reveals His character through His Word. Below is the list that she referenced from a song called "He Is." Remember that He is faithful to meet us where we are. He is enough in EVERY circumstance. He is all we will ever need!


In Genesis, He's the breath of life
In Exodus, He is the Passover Lamb
In Leviticus, He's our High Priest
In Numbers, the Fire by Night
Deuteronomy, He's Israel’s guide
Joshua, He’s salvation's choice
Judges, He’s Israel’s guard
In Ruth, the kinsmen's Redeemer
1st and 2nd Samuel, our trusted Prophet
In Kings and Chronicles, He is Sovereign
In Ezra, He’s the true and faithful scribe
In Nehemiah, the Re-builder of broken walls and lives
In Esther, He’s Mordecai's courage
In Job, the Timeless Redeemer
In Psalms, He is our morning song
In Proverbs, He is our wisdom
Ecclesiastes, He's the time and season
In Song of Solomon, He is the lover's dream
In Isaiah, He is the Prince of Peace
In Jeremiah, the Weeping Prophet
Lamentations, the Cry for Israel
Ezekiel, the Call from Sin
Daniel, the Stranger in the Fire
Hosea, the Forever Faithful
Joel, the Spirit’s Power
Amos, the Strong-arms that carry
Obadiah, the Lord our Savior
Jonah, the great Missionary
Micah, the Promise of Peace
Nahum, our Strength and Shield
In Habakkuk and Zephaniah, He's brings revival
In Haggai, He restores that which was lost
In Zachariah, He’s our fountain
And in Malachi, He's the Son of righteousness rising with healing in His wings


AND THAT’S JUST THE OLD TESTAMENT


In Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, He is God and Messiah
In the spirit filled book of Acts, He is the reigning fire from Heaven
In Romans, He is the grace of God
Corinthians, the Power of Love
Galatians, Freedom from the curse of sin
Ephesians, our Glorious Treasure
Philippians, the Servant's Heart
Colossians, He’s God and the Trinity
Thessalonians, our calling King
In Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, He's our mediator and our faithful pastor
In Hebrews, the Everlasting Courage
In James, the One who heals the sick
In 1st and 2nd Peter, our Faithful Shepherd
In John and Jude, He's the lover coming for His bride
AND in the Revelation, in the very end, when it’s all over, said and done, when time is NO MORE. He is and will always be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Prince of Peace, Son of Man, Lamb of God, The Great I Am, Alpha and Omega, God and Savior


He is Jesus Christ the Lord


HE IS EVERYTHING THAT YOU NEED!



Be blessed,

Jennifer

Monday, April 20, 2009

Blocks of Time

April 20, 2009

I want to take a minute to thank all of you who have sent such encouraging email about my blog. I’m so glad it has been a blessing to you! A few weeks ago I posted about my personal conviction of how I’d been misusing my time. This apparently resonated with many of you because I received numerous emails and have heard several comments about how you relate to ‘wasting’ time.

I was sharing with one of my dearest friends over lunch that I find each day filled with ‘stuff’ but then I can never account for the ‘stuff’ that I did. I’m determined to overcome this problem in my life, so here’s my plan: I’m going to build my day using time blocks! So imagine those insanely large, brightly colored cardboard boxes that are shaped like Legos that little kids love to build with. Each block represents an hour and there are 24 of them total. There are tons of different colors that represent different activities. For example:
Black blocks = Sleep Red blocks = Scheduled Work
Green blocks = Meals Orange blocks = Time with God
Blue blocks = Appointments Yellow blocks = Chores
Purple blocks = Fellowship Brown blocks = Misc errands
Pink blocks = Girly stuff…whatever your thing is! (pedicure, manicure, reading a magazine, watching Desperate Housewives…)

Before each day begins I am going to arrange my time blocks in such a way that all 24 blocks are used and I have a plan for the day. We schedule our time around dentist appointments and classes, so why can’t we ‘schedule’ grocery shopping, laundry and a girls’ night out?? It’s a lot easier to do the ‘have tos’ in life when we know we’ll also have time for the ‘want tos’ as well!

I’m really looking forward to getting a little structure back in my time. I used to do this when my kiddos were little, but now that they’re teenagers, I think it’s this kind of scheduling is long overdue! Schedule your day as best you can but don’t forget to give it to God for His approval. The Holy Spirit may come knock down your Lego wall like an energetic 4 year old and that’s okay, be flexible! Allowing God to use us for His purpose is the heart of being a believer, so don’t be discouraged when things don’t work out the way you planned. Remember, tomorrow is another day!

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Monday, April 13, 2009

These are the times to remember

April 13, 2009

My family just got back in town from visiting my in-laws in Arkansas for the Easter weekend. On our way there I was kicked to the back seat while my 15 year old drove while my husband co-piloted. As I sat cross legged flipping through a magazine, my IPod cued up “This is the time to remember” by Billy Joel. The chorus says “This is the time to remember, ‘cause it will not last forever. These are the days to hold on to, ‘cause we won’t although we’ll want to. This is the time, but times are gonna change…” I found that as I listened to those words and watched my first born spreading his wings as he drove, I momentarily fought back a few tears knowing that our time with him was going by so fast. There were so many days that I didn’t appreciate the blessing of watching him grow into the young man that sat before me. I became mentally determined to remember that moment and be thankful for being a part of it.

The next morning came really early after a late night of cards and family fun. I mindlessly walked through my regular routine of getting ready for the day but had a nagging feeling that something wasn’t quite right. Then instantly I knew what was wrong…this wasn’t my toothbrush!! I had been brushing with my husband’s toothbrush (sorry honeyJ)! I was really convicted in that moment that I was spending a lot of time in ‘auto pilot’, just going through the motions of my day to day life. Sound familiar?

Later that night we attended an Easter vigil at my in laws’ church. I spent a lot of time thinking about the importance of Christ’s sacrifice. God went to this extreme of sacrificing His Son because He loves us and wanted to give us the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is there to open our eyes to not only hear from God but to see Him move. When we walk mindlessly though our lives, we fail to value the moment we’re in because we’re focused on the moments we are striving for. As a result, we miss the sweetness of the moment.

I’ve promised myself, and God, that I’m going to focus on being ‘in the moment.’ I definitely have hopes and dreams for my life, but I’m determined to start appreciating the moment I’m in. I’ve decided to go back to keeping a Gratitude Journal. These journals are a tangible way of making you stop at the end of each day and focus on the blessings of the day. I used to keep one years ago and unfortunately allowed myself to fall out of the habit. But as the piano man says ‘these are the times to remember’ and this is just one way to make myself stop and remember the blessings in my life. I’d love if you join me!

Be blessed,
Jennifer

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Monday, April 6, 2009

Time for some spring cleaning

April 6, 2009

This time of year I like to welcome the warm weather with a little spring cleaning. I do all of the little tasks that I’ve put off for several months, one of which is window cleaning. Cleaning windows is a chore that is so easy for me to ignore because the dirt builds up slowly over time.

After spraying the windows with Windex and wiping away months of dirt and grime, I felt like I was in a commercial as I marveled at how much more light was shining through the window. I hadn’t noticed that the dirt had created a veil that was blocking some of the natural sunlight. I couldn’t help but think about how our spiritual lives cause a haze of filth and grime as well. We get used to the sin in our lives to the point that we don’t even see it anymore. Once the sin is removed, we are able to live transparent lives that God’s love can shine through. Most of the dirt was removed by a little perseverance… spray, wipe, repeat.

Our family had moved into our new home about a year ago. As is common with new construction, little stickers had been left on the widows. I hate to admit that those stickers had been there so long, I didn’t even see them anymore when I looked out the window. So I decided that it was finally time to remove those stickers no matter what it took! I grabbed my handy bottle of Undo (I’m not a paid sponsor but would be happy to be) and began squirting the pungent liquid onto the stickers for an easier removal process.

Sometimes we need some ‘Undo’ in our spiritual lives as well. God has the power to loosen the hold of sin in our lives that we cannot get free of ourselves. But we can’t get free of those strongholds until we proactively apply God’s strength to our sin. By spending time alone with God and in His word, we allow Him access to those sticky, grimy areas of our lives. Are you in need of some spiritual spring cleaning? Not sure where to start? Just ask God to reveal the areas in your life that are keeping you from moving forward with Him and He will begin the process of applying His ‘Undo’ to your heart and mind and you’ll be amazed how radiantly His light will shine through you!

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24