Monday, February 28, 2011

This Friday will be my last day at my 'day job'. I've been with this company for three years while God faithfully prepared me to start my writing ministry full time. He has taught me so much about people and about myself. The time is finally here and I'm beginning to feel afraid.

I've let me mind wander into 'what ifs': What if I misunderstood God's promptings? What if I don't have anything to say? What if I fail?

God can handle 'what ifs' and He presents a few of His own: What if I reward your obedience? What if I give you My words? What if I use this for My glory?

Sound familiar? Have you been having this talk with God?

In His perfect timing, God led me to the book of Joshua to find some answers. God instructs Joshua to “be strong and courageous” and then explains how. Verse 1:7-8 instructs “Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Praise God for giving us a command and then explaining how to uphold it! He doesn't just say “be strong and courageous” and figure it out, He shows us how to become courageous. When we spend time in God's word we allow Him to speak to us. As we continue thinking about it throughout the day God's word begins to influence our actions. Soon we notice we don't feel so afraid.

God doesn't promise to take away our fears, He promises not to leave or forsake us. Sometimes we just have to do things afraid. But when we follow God in obedience, He leads us into our promised land. I'm choosing to replace my fear with excitement and anticipation because I serve a really big God. Are you ready to let go of some fear?

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with your wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Monday, February 21, 2011

What about the rest?

I have waited for this day for weeks. It's Monday morning and I have the day off! Our nation is honoring the Presidents, past and present. With a nod of appreciation and respect, I thank them for the day of rest.

My husband, Greg, happens to have the day off too. While it's uncommon for me to have such a day off, it's a complete rarity for him. Needless to say, we've been like two kids in a candy store lately trying to decide what to do with our day.

We examined the 'honey do' list to see what projects could be completed in one day. From painting my office to repairing the stone around the flowerbed, we found several worthy projects. We even played with the idea of starting the garden we've been talking about lately.

We soon moved on to the 'fun stuff' list. We could go to the museum, go shopping (my pick, not his) or even take in an afternoon movie. Then there's always sky diving, boating on the lake or whirly ball. We've had fun discussing crazy ideas in front of our kids. They have school today.

We were then hit with the 'must do' list. Laundry, grocery shopping, house cleaning... the list goes on and on. This could be some extra time to do some spring cleaning, arrange a closet or two and get our house back in order.

While pondering our options, Genesis came to mind. From the darkness, God created heaven and earth. He then filled the earth with His wonders. Trees, oceans, animals, land... all of it! And on the last day He rested. God shows us that we have to take time to rest.

Our lives our fast paced and allow us to get a lot of things done. We have responsibilities to meet and families to take care of. But nothing, I mean NOTHING we're doing can be as important as creating the world! (Although we may think it is) We need to follow God's example and rest.

Resting does not require you to sit perfectly still while staring off into space. Resting includes anything that brings peace to your mind and body. Listening to your favorite music. Reading the book you've always meant to start (or finish). Watching a chick flick in the middle of the day. Taking a much needed nap. There are a million ways for us to find rest. We just have to seek it out.

I hope you incorporate some rest in your schedule this week. You'll feel so much better if you do. Now I'm going to go spend the day with my favorite man...

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Monday, February 14, 2011

Grime Fighter

The line twisted and turned with no end in sight. I patiently (kind of) waited for my turn. Anticipation built as I got closer and closer to the front of the line. After weeks of waiting for this day, it was finally here...I entered the car wash.

The last few weeks were full of ice storms, rain and muddy potholes. This was a dry new day! North Texas offered a warm, sunny weekend with promise of a beautiful week ahead. No more sand trucks coating the icy roads or melted snow splashing onto my car. It was time to remove the residual signs of winter.

Quite often the roads we travel will leave their mark too. Dirt and dust may collect on our cars just as hurt and pain can collect in our hearts. Life has a way of leaving a residue that we alone are not able to remove. But God can.

God can remove the grime and gunk from our heart and mind. He doesn't change the road you traveled, but He cam change the affect it has on you. He can also provide new directions so we don't go down that road again. The choice is up to us.

Has life left a film on your heart? Are you tired of hitting the same potholes as you go down the same roads? God is willing and able to wash it away and show you a new way. He removes the filth and refreshes your soul. The best part is you don't have to wait in line to be made clean. You are always first with Him...

Lord, thank you for the gift of you son Jesus. Please wash away the residue of my past and show me the direction You have for me. I know You are able. In Jesus name, Amen

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20

Monday, February 7, 2011

Our biggest fan

On the morning after the Super Bowl, I would be remiss if I didn't talk about the game. I like football but I'm not a huge fan. I can appreciate all the hard work that it takes to get the players to that level, however I would have been just as happy watching a chick flick instead.

Now before you delete my blog in disgust, I do have to say that I enjoyed watching this game. I was also reminded of a few things as I watched. Pretty much anything can be a teachable moment if we let it.

1. This was a pinnacle moment. They all worked so hard to get to that point. The team's name wasn't drawn from a hat, they had to fight the entire season to experience that moment. We go through seasons in our lives too. Some seasons are definitely harder than others. But they all are worth the fight.

2. No one did it alone. Two TEAMS played during the Super Bowl. These athletes had to overcome adversity and personal issues to achieve the common goal. We don't have to go through our lives alone either. You will be as strong as the God you believe in and the people you surround yourself with.

3. When a player fell down, he got back up again. I used to tease my husband that football was only about lining up, running into each other and then doing it all over again. I do realize that there's so much more to it! But with every tackle, the player hopped back up and tried again. That's the best we can do. Keep trying.

4. Win or lose, learn from it. I can guarantee that the Steelers will pick every play apart to see where they went wrong. Evaluating which plays worked and which ones failed. Hopefully, the Packers will too. Our mistakes and our victories are teachable moments. We should be constantly mindful of the things that strengthen us as well as the things that trip us up.

All in all it was a good game. A lot of fanfare and a lot of hoopla celebrated a lot of hard work. We may never experience that kind of celebration for our hard work. Most of the things we do usually go unnoticed. But I believe every time we push through the pain to get back to our feet and keep trying, there's a Super Bowl in heaven. God is rooting for us! He celebrates the end of a hard fought season in our lives. He's our biggest fan!

Be blessed,
Jennifer
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31b