Monday, July 25, 2011

Stepping Out

The room has finally stopped swaying! After five days at sea, I'm finally getting my land legs back. Our family of 22 Mersbergers took a cruise to celebrate God's blessing in the various seasons of our lives. From retirement to birthdays to a vow renewal, we had a lot to celebrate!

My husband, Greg, was asked to perform an 'unofficial' vow renewal for my brother and sister in law's anniversary. He was so touched and then slightly terrified. He's not one for speaking in front of a crowd. And when you're nervous...22 people can feel like a big crowd!

“How do you do this all the time? I'm so nervous.” he asked me before the ceremony.

“Honey, if God has called you to do it He'll give you the words to get through it.” I said.

Greg had spent time in prayer and was equipped with God's word. I knew he was ready! My heart felt warm at the thought of how God works. If He calls, He equips. We need only be obedient to His calling.

The ceremony was beautiful. Greg did a great job speaking God's word over Charles and Ivona's marriage and with “no one's authority but God” he declared them man and wife. It was so touching.

Greg stepped out of his comfort zone that night. He trusted that God had a reason to choose him for the task at hand. The result was pure blessing. Charles and Ivona were blessed with a beautiful renewal service. The family was blessed by witnessing their re-commitment to one another and their marriage. Greg was especially blessed to be used by God for something so precious to his brother. He stepped out in obedience and the blessings flowed.

Is God asking you to step out of your comfort zone? Are you afraid you'll fail? Trust me, the only thing to be afraid of when it comes to obeying God is not doing it. Not because of receiving a punishment but for missing out on the abundant blessings that come from doing His will.

If He called you to it, He get you through it...

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“And his affection for you is all the greater when he remembers that you were all obedient, receiving him with fear and trembling.” 2 Corinthians 7:15

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Out to sea...

For the first time in over two years, I am taking a week off from blogging! I'll be cruising the high seas with my family enjoying some much needed fun and relaxation. Please take a few minutes to check out some of my archived blog entries. There may be one your heart needs to hear!

Blessings,
Jennifer

Monday, July 11, 2011

Ready to Fly

A beekeeper once described how young bees are nurtured during the first stages of life. The queen bee lays each egg in a six-sided cell of the comb. She then fills it with enough pollen and honey to nourish the egg until it reaches a certain stage of maturity. The top is then sealed with a capsule of wax.

When the food is gone, it is time for the tiny creature to be released. However, the wax is so hard to penetrate that the bee can only make a very narrow opening. In fact, the opening is so narrow that in the agony of exit, the bee rubs off the membrane that encases its wings. When the bee finally does emerge, its wings are strong enough to fly.

The beekeeper mentioned that a moth got into the hive once and devoured the wax capsules. The young bees easily escaped the capsule but, because the membrane stayed in tact, were never able to fly.

While we may not live in the solitude of a honeycomb cell, we certainly live in the protection of the King. God provides for us, nourishes us and protects us as we grow. But like any of God's creations, we have to transition from milk and honey to spiritual meat. All the while we're growing, we push against that which protects us.

Choosing to live as a Christian is a difficult path. The 'right' choices are certainly outweighed by the 'wrong' choices and can even seem less exciting. But every 'right' choice we make squeezes us a little further through the narrow opening. Sometimes the choices are hard, they hurt, or even lead to losing a friend.

Are you struggling with what you want to do vs what God wants you to do? Are you having to make difficult decisions or create new boundaries because you want what God has to offer while those around you don't? Take heart, those decisions may be difficult now but God has so much more for you!

Your desire for God can continue to be stronger than your desire for the things of this world. As long as you keep your eyes focused on Him, the struggle and difficult choices will be worth it. He has plans for you to fly...

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Commando

In my family, I'm considered a country mouse. About four years ago Greg, the kids and I chose to build a house outside of the hustle and bustle of the city. We're drive almost 20 minutes to the nearest grocery store and 30 minutes to get to church. We've traded street lights and sidewalks for wide open spaces and starry nights.

The biggest benefit of where we live is being able to shoot off fireworks. Every year all of Greg's family come out to our house for a big cook out and fireworks. The littler kids dance around with sparklers while the big kids (like my husband) light the larger displays.

This year my nephew, Nikolas, was visiting from Wisconsin. He had been waiting all summer to light fireworks with Uncle Greg. He brought along a Commando Parachute firework. He was so excited to launch that rocket and see what happens. So with his Uncle observing for safety, Nikolas positioned the rocket, lit the fuse and ran back to safety.

ZOOMP! Something shot straight up from the rocket. BANG! A flash of color filled the evening sky. And then we saw the brave Commando drifting safely to the ground with his parachute. The kids squealed with delight as they ran to retrieve the airborne hero.

“Oh man, he's broken!” one of the kids proclaimed after the successful reconnaissance mission into the neighboring field. The Commando had lost a leg. Unimpressed, the kids went back to writing their names in the sky with their sparklers. But not Nikolas. He was still as proud of his Commando. He started creating the soldier's heroic story in his head as he brought it up to the house. He knew he was a mighty soldier capable of great things. He carefully put the soldier on the porch table and rejoined his cousins in the merriment.

That's how God treats us. He's excited for the hope of our calling. He is ever present as we go through the BANG of life. He assures we land safely. He embraces our brokenness. He creates in us a new story. He provides much needed rest.

In this world, we are all broken soldiers. But take heart, God has overcome this world! (Johns 16:33) He uses our brokenness for His glory and makes us whole once more in heaven. Until then, continue to fight...

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” 1Peter 5:10