Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Glimpse of Christmas...

Blazing limelight from heaven's throne penetrates space and time,
Shining, illuminating dusty Bethlehem's stable-manger.
King's halls bright torch lights-- dim compared with THIS LIGHT.
Hillside stars hover reverently exalting His humble hiding place.

Unto us a CHILD is born,
Unto US a son is GIVEN...

Cows moan, sheep bow, keenly aware...
Their lowly feeding trough, HIS kingly bed.
Eternal miracle swaddling wrapped,
Heaven's breath on Earth.

His NAME shall be called...
WONDERFUL, COUNSELOR...

Adoring Angelic thousands proclaim "GOOD NEWS" birthed in silent stable...
Where are the adoring millions?
Where are the fan filled stadiums shouting for Earth's Redeemer King?
No fireworks? No thunderous applause? No standing ovation?

The Mighty GOD, 
EVERLASTING FATHER...

Shepherd's souls worship, looking on the tiny babe, AMAZED.
Hope's cradle, Golgotha's GRACE shadow eternity's BRIDGE for mankind.
Earth's famous King's, Composers, Conqueror's---fade in the LIGHT of Jesus MESSIAH!
Welcome LIGHT of HEAVEN! Please abide in my heart's humble home.

PRINCE of PEACE, EMMANUEL,
God with US!       
                                       
----Jennifer Jones 12/10/13

Merry Christmas to You!   


Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Inspiration: Pure Worship


I crept quietly through the empty courtyard.  My hands trembled.  The ornate box of extravagant fragrance, shifted uneasily.  I tried to calm my racing heart.  I saw Simon at the head of the table.  I prayed silently that I would not be seen and sent away.  Looking through the columns I saw the room crowded with Pharisees, disciples and other men. Some were seated on lavish cushions around the large table, others stood listening.  Where was Jesus? Someone on the street told me He was here. Ah...there He was, in the middle of the room, next to Simon.

I was beyond caring what people thought. I didn't care what the men had to say. I had to get to Jesus. I needed to worship. I knew Jesus was HIM! The Messiah. The Almighty. The King of Glory robed in flesh.

I ran as fast as I could and knelt behind Him at His feet. My face was wet with tears.  I couldn't stop crying.  In His presence I realized my brokenness. I knew that I, a sinner, didn't deserve to be in the presence of the HOLY ONE, but yet I was. It was at that moment I shattered my treasured perfume box. The room was filled with sweet incense, and silence. Jesus' feet were now wet with my tears.  I anointed His clay caked feet with the precious contents of my box. Tears fell with the worship and adoration of my heart.  I could feel the glares of the men in the room.  I didn't care. I was desperately longing to worship. Aching for forgiveness.  Seeking earnestly for Jesus' touch of mercy. 

No one spoke for several minutes. The whispers, like daggers, pierced the silence  as the men gawked at me. It was obvious they were appalled and embarrassed at my display of affection. Jesus turned and gazed on me with compassion, not caring what the men said or thought. He didn't send me away.  I cleared my mind when I heard Simon snidely make a remark about Jesus not knowing what kind of woman I was. Yet somehow I knew Jesus knew everything about me.  He accepted my feeble attempt of honor. It was as if He already knew I would be there.

I kissed His feet. Wiped them with my hair.
Me. A sinner. Accepted.
Worshipper of God. Unworthy, I knew, yet completely loved.

How could these men sit here? How could their knees refuse to bend? How could their eyes not weep?  Why would their hands not serve? Why was their perfume still in their jars?  How could they not Worship...HIM?  As for me, I could not stop...     

               --Jennifer Jones




Like oil upon your feet,
Like wine for you to drink,
Like water from my heart, I pour my love on YOU, (Jesus)
With praises like perfume, I lavish mine on You,
Till every drop is gone, I pour my Love on YOU.---song writer unknown




Monday, November 11, 2013

Letting Go...Letting God







Dearest Friend,

Just checking in on this Monday morning.

I have had difficulty in my life, so many times, with letting go of  different things. Some of my struggles include letting go of  hurt, mistakes or offense. It may be something I am worried about. It may be a prayer that I leave at the altar, but then pick it back up. Many times the scenario will play over and over in my mind. 

My husband gently reminds me, "Babe, you've got to let it go. You can't change it...let-it-go."

But deep inside, I don't want to. It's scary to trust someone with our messes, fears, and worries.

God recently gave me a word about "letting go..."
Imagine walking into a post office. In your hand you hold a very important letter. It's addressed, stamped and ready to be sent.  You get closer to the postal worker who will assist you. You grip the letter tighter.  If you let it go, you won't have it in your hands anymore. You feel your heart beat faster, panic rises in your chest...slowly...you hand the letter over to the outstretched hands of the person behind the desk. They take it from your hands. The letter is officially mailed. You managed to let it go.

This is a very simple illustration but many times in our lives this is what we need to do.  The situations, hurt, frustrations and unanswered prayers, go unresolved because we don't completely "let them go".  Open your hands. Let God take your burden you're holding onto. Let God give you peace. Let Him heal your hurts. Ask Him to help you.  Let God have your life's letters--let go.

"The Lord is thy keeper... The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil,... He shall preserve thy soul" Psalm 121:5,7.

"I know Him whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day" 2 Timothy 1:12.

Have a blessed week.

Jen

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Why We Need a Shepherd...



Sheep.
Simple.
Defenseless.
Alone.
Helpless.
Desperately needing a Shepherd.

Shepherd.
Protector.
Way Maker.
Guide.
Helper.
Rescuer.

Sheep. 
Needy.
Hungry.
Lost.
Burdened.
Desperately drawn to the Shepherd.

Shepherd.
Defender.
Green Pasture Giver.
Comforter.
Healer.
Friend.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday Inspiration: A New Version of "Footprints" Author Unknown

 
 
Footprints
 
Imagine one night you have a dream.  In this vision you are on a dusty, narrow path. You and Jesus are walking together.  You notice footprints in the dirt as you walk.  The Lord's footprints are steady, constant, unvarying. Your footprints...disorganized steps with starts, abrupt stops, zigzags, many circles, some departures and returns.
 
As you look down the path, for much of the way, it goes like this. Then you notice, your footprints are more in line with Jesus' steps. You and Jesus are walking side by side, like true friends.
 
As you contemplate this perfection of walking together, you suddenly see that your foot prints become synchronized with Jesus. You and Jesus are becoming one.  Inside His larger footprints are your smaller ones.  This continues for many miles...then you notice another change.
 
The footprints inside the large footprints seem to grow larger, then disappear completely..
There is only one set of footprints. They have become one. Suddenly the second set of footprints is back. This time the prints are all over the place. Gashes in the sand, zigzag footprints everywhere. Stops. Starts. A mess of footprints.
 
You are perplexed. Your dream ends. Now you pray:
 
"Lord, I understand the first scene, with the steps that were out of control. I was a new Christian. I was learning. I know that was when I was going through a storm. You were beside me helping me."
 
"That is correct." The Lord replies.
 
"And when the smaller footprints were inside Yours, I was actually learning to walk in Your steps, and following you very closely."
 
"Very good...You understand everything so far," Jesus says.
 
"When the smaller footprints grew and filled in Yours, I suppose that I was becoming like You in every way?"
 
"Precisely," He tells you.
 
"So, Lord, was there a regression or something? The footprints separated, and this time it was worse then the beginning!"
 
There is a pause as the Lord answers, with a smile in His voice. "You didn't know? It was then that we danced!"
 
 
Ecclesiastes 3:1,4

"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:  A time to weep, a time to laugh, a time to mourn, and a time to DANCE."
 
Weeping may endure for the night---Joy comes in the Morning!
 
It's not WHAT you have in your life, but WHOM you have in your life that counts...something to think about. 
 




Sunday, October 13, 2013

Monday Inspiration




Isaiah 54:10-11

"For the mountains shall depart
And the hills be removed,
But My kindness shall not depart from you,
Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,”
Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.
 
 “O you afflicted one,
Tossed with tempest, and not comforted,
Behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems,
And lay your foundations with sapphires."

Monday, October 7, 2013

Monday Inspiration: Fingerprints of God

All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen. Ralph Waldo Emerson




 
 
 









 


 
 
"We have not seen God face to face...but His Fingerprints are EVERYWHERE!"
-- Jennifer Jones

Friday, October 4, 2013

Friday: Hearts Cove at Home





Easy Cake Pops
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 package of oreo cookies crushed fine with food processor
  • 1-12 oz. container of whipped cream cheese
  • Lollipop sticks from a craft store
  • Chocolate chips (milk chocolate or white chocolate) 2-3 cups 
  • Thick 1 foot section of Styrofoam
  •  
 
Step 1: Crush Oreos in a food processor.
Step 2: Pour cookie crumbs in a bowl.
Step 3: Add 12 oz of cream cheese, mix well.
Step 4: Put in freezer for 30 minutes.
Step 5: Roll into 2 1/2 inch balls.
Step 6: Insert sticks into the centers.
Step 7: Return to freezer for 30 minutes.
Step 8: Melt chocolate in microwave on chocolate setting.
Step 9: Dip cake pops in chocolate.
Step 10: Stick in styrofoam.
 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Lead Me to the Cross

Sometimes God ministers to us on a quiet, whispering level.  Last Friday I was having quiet time with God.  I was sitting on my living room couch, just enjoying His presence.  My spirit was still searching for answers and was troubled. So many prayers had gone up for my daughter Sadie and still she was sick. Two trips to the emergency room and numerous trips to doctors still left us with questions.  Thursday night, Sadie complained that her stomach hurt and started shaking. This time it was accompanied with anxiety and tears. Every episode would plant more seeds of worry in my mind, even though I knew God had healed her.  My faith was being battered by what I was seeing, not what was unseen.  What I was "seeing" were the symptoms that kept returning.

Friday morning as I sat in the quiet Presence of the Lord that surrounded me, I had a picture in my mind. I know that the picture came from God to give me faith.  I saw myself standing before the Cross, with Sadie in my arms.  As I looked up and saw Jesus, I told Him, "Lord You gave me this child.  She belongs to You. You formed her. You know what's wrong with her. I can do nothing. This one is for you Jesus." The scripture came to mind from Isaiah 53:5.
 
 "But He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him and By His Wounds We ARE Healed!"
 
 It was at this moment I saw one tiny drop of blood fall on Sadie. At this moment God increased my faith. I knew that He had truly healed her.  I knew she was going to be completely made whole.
 I felt encouraged. I started to feel the scripture of Hebrews 11:1  rise in my heart that says "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."  I started seeing the evidence of things not seen in my mind. I started seeing healing and not the symptoms.

Mid-morning after the quiet time, the symptoms started again.  I immediately prayed over Sadie and started speaking words of Faith. I prayed for a physical and emotional healing.  It was moment by moment that I kept believing.  Miraculously, we made it through the whole weekend without any more symptoms. 

I had come to the end of myself and my solutions. It required getting alone with God, closing out the world and finding Him waiting. I found HIM with hands outstretched to give renewed faith, hope and healing.

I want to encourage you today. Whatever you are going through, God is ready to help you through it. Jesus wants to give you healing, strength, peace and renewed hope. Place your worries and cares at the foot of the cross.

Jesus is waiting for you.

                                                                                                                  --Jennifer Jones

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Trust


My lack of blogging over the past few months has been a result of staying busy with homeschooling my children and caring for my six year old, who has been battling illness. 

June of this year my daughter Sadie started getting sick.  It generally happened on the weekends.  We prayed and believed God for total and complete healing.  Every 10 days starting the end of June through this month, Sadie was sick.  We ended up in ER twice, and they admitted her to the hospital both times due to dehydration.  We tried everything we knew to get fluids in her and to keep her hydrated. Everything she took in, even water, came back up. 


The doctors checked her blood, did an endoscopic procedure, and an upper GI. They were clueless.  Her mysterious illness still hasn't been diagnosed.  The symptoms point to abdominal migraines. So what are we doing?  We are trusting God.  Last Friday, the symptoms started returning. Sadie was feeling nauseous and trembling.  I told her, "Sadie, lets pray right now." We were in the middle of the parking lot of a Mall--I didn't care.  We prayed and immediately the symptoms passed.  The whole weekend was spent in prayer, each time a symptom would manifest itself, we would pray. 

The 10 day cycle was broken this past weekend.  I believe God is going to give Sadie a complete healing.  It's difficult to trust God sometimes when we are dealing with sickness in ourselves or with our loved ones.  It can be exhausting, faith draining and stretch us to the extreme.  It's at these moments, we have to TRUST. Everyday is another step of FAITH. The strength my not be in me, but the LORD is the strength of my life and my HOPE.

 "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart." Psalm 73:26
 

 
 



 

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Unveiled

Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you..."


He. SEEs. YOU.

Think about it. Let it soak into your soul. He sees YOU.

He has been watching YOU all along.

When God looked through the window of creation, His heart skipped a beat.

It was YOUR face that HE saw through eternal time and space.

Through a sea of human faces and souls...

He. Saw. YOU.

Why would He see US? Why would HE love us, imperfect dust created humans?

His hands formed us. His blueprint planned our lives. No accidents.

Eyes of pure love and mercy saw...US?

Why would He care about a tiny heartbeat in a womb, born a sinner to a fallen world?

Why would he care to carry us in HIS hands? Write HIS love on our hearts?

Lord, remove this veil from our hearts so we can see YOU the way YOU see US!

That we may see and know Him in His glory and majesty.

 Know the suffering of the cross---that was for US.  Know that He is our God, our HEALER, our REDEEMER.

See HIM through the obstacles. See HIM through your suffering. See HIM and know He's working all things together for your good because...

 He. Loves. YOU.

--Jennifer Jones







Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Prayer Quilt by Jennifer Jones

I wrote this poem today, in honor of my mom's birthday.  Happy Birthday Mom, I love you! --Jen


Tenderly she rocked,
As she rocked she prayed,
With each and every breath,
A prayer quilt  stitch she made.

The baby oh so small,
Held her finger oh so tight,
Mom whispered prayers to God,
To keep her angel through the night.

Months turned into years,
Her girl now held her hand
Her backpack on her back
At the front door she would stand.

And there the quilt would grow,
With prayers for God to guide,
To keep her child at school,
And forever by His Side.

Each night Mom's cover of prayer,
Kept angels by her kid,
At the dawn of each new day,
New mercies God did give.

Now her daughter's grown,
But she still has this quilt of prayer,
That Mom prayed ore' her life,
It goes with her everywhere.

Now at night her Grown-up girl,
Stands by her daughter's head,
She bows her head and prays,
"Lord, put your angels round this bed."

So the quilt's an heirloom dear,
Passed on from Mom to Me,
The precious quilt of prayer,
Of Protection, Faith and Peace.

The cradle will rock on,
The quilt stitches now begin,
As a mother whispers prayers,
And God listens once again.
                                           
---Jennifer Jones


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Hibiscus Lesson


I have to stay busy.  For me as a stay-at-home mom this sometimes means rearranging the house or digging up the yard.  One day in mid-Spring I noticed that the two hibiscus bushes in the front yard were crowding the flower bed.  Determined to fix the situation, I promptly found the shovel.  I dug the bushes out of the ground and replanted them in the sparse flower bed in the backyard.  I had no prior knowledge that hibiscus HATE to be relocated! After planting them, I watched as every leaf fell to the ground.  After two weeks of shedding their leaves, they appeared to be two shriveled twigs, stuck in the ground.  It was at this point in their ugliness I was tempted to admit defeat, pull them up, and put them in the trash--out of sight!  I have transplanted plants before with success and thought these would be no different. These were a FAIL! I decided to wait thinking that perhaps it was the shock of the move that made them react this way.  I put off pulling them up and gave them another two weeks of ugliness. Everyday I would resist the urge to give up on them.

It finally happened. All of a sudden a change took place. After the fourth week I noticed the stems of the plant were looking green.  There were no leaves or blossoms, but the bushes were showing signs of life.  Under their thin scaly bark there was evidence that there was still hope.  A month later, I felt like I had witnessed a miracle!  The hibiscus bushes were and still are blooming. Not only are they blooming, they have more blooms on their stems than any of the plants in the yard.  I was so glad I decided to give them more time.  If I had given up on them, the miracle would never have happened.  In life it is often the same way.  We get frustrated that life isn't working out according to our plans. We may pour love and time into relationships that seem dead. Sometimes life itself is one big disappointment to us.  However, if we remember that God is in control of our lives, we can have FAITH to believe that good can come out of our bleak, barren situations.  Don't give up!

Remember Habakkuk 3:17 KJV states "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold and there shall be no herd in the stalls: 18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. 19 The Lord God is my strength and he will make my feet like hinds' feet and he will make me to walk upon mine high places..."

Just because we don't see the miracle right now doesn't mean it won't happen.  We need faith for every season of our lives.  Faith to endure. Faith to wait for the fruit of our prayers. Faith to know that God has us in the palm of His hand and that He won't let us go.  He will give us the desires of our heart in HIS season. Just like the hibiscus plant, when all seems lost, there will be a season of restoration. Life will bloom again.  --JJ

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Cure for Shadows by Jennifer Jones

A Cure for Shadows  by Jennifer Jones

shadow:
Bing Dictionary
shad·ow
 [ sháddō ]   darkened shape of something in light: a darkened shape on a surface that falls behind somebody or something blocking the light
  1. darkness: relative darkness in a place that is being screened or blocked off from direct sunlight
Synonyms: shade, silhouette, outline, dark, darkness, gloom, gloominess, dusk, dimness
 
In Florida it is not uncommon to enjoy a pristine, blue-skied summer day, only to have it interrupted by a layer of rain clouds.  Life can be similar. Have you ever felt like you were living under a shadow? I have. Just last week I experienced a cloud of fear casting it's menacing shade over my life. My daughter Sadie sat next to me listless, fighting an unknown virus.  Partially dehydrated, she was refusing food and drink.  I finally made an appointment with the doctor, after hoping and praying that she would recover on her own.  As I entered the doctor's office, I expected to be loaded up with prescriptions for antibiotics and sent home.  When the doctor requested blood tests, sonograms, and x-rays, I became anxious and worried. Yes, I was praying through it all. Yes, I was trusting God that everything was going to be alright.  Yes, I have faith! However,  I am also HUMAN.  I couldn't help but think ...what if she was seriously ill? Shadows of doubt threatened to block my faith.
 
Dark shadows occasionally creep into our lives.  The Bible records that Job and David experienced the "the shadow of death." (Job 16:16, Psalm 23:4)  Shadows can be grief, loss of relationships, hopelessness, sickness, depression and loneliness, to name a few. Life is filled with potential shadows and we all experience them.

Good News! I found a cure for Life's SHADOWS.

The antidote is... God's SHADOW. 

Psalm 91: 1
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the SHADOW of the Almighty."
 
Psalm 36:7
"How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the SHADOW of thy wings."
 
Psalm 57:1
"...yea, in the SHADOW of thy wings will I make my refuge until these calamities be overpast."
 
Psalm 63:7
"Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the SHADOW of thy wings will I rejoice."
 
Isaiah 25:4
"For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm a SHADOW from the heat..."
 
Isaiah 51:16
"For I have put my words in thy mouth and I have covered thee in the SHADOW of mine hand..."
 
I started thinking about God's shadow.  The powerful protective shadow of the Almighty gave me comfort.  The protection under the everlasting arms of God Almighty, is the cure for the shadows of life.  He is the antidote for loneliness, grief, suffering, doubt, fear, and heartache.  His shadow removes all other shadows. In the presence of His shadow is peace, and help. 
 
My shadows of doubt left when I started trusting in the shadow of God.  My daughter Sadie was diagnosed with a virus. However, she is undergoing other tests for abnormal glucose levels.  I am determined to trust in the shadow of Jesus.  He is the cure for the shadow's of life.
 
So when the shadow's of life threaten to overcome you, remember to trust in the shadow of Almighty God.
 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

It's a Blessing to Be a Blessing-- by Emily Warren (Pocket Miracles Author: Lois Jones)

Some miracles involve God interacting with us on a personal level.  Sometimes we are the miracle for someone else.

Emily Warren, my niece, found a wallet on the pavement in the parking lot, while shopping one evening. She looked for information in the wallet so that she could contact the owner.  She found that it belonged to a Brazilian family evidently on vacation.  There was no address to send the wallet back to either local or Brazilian.  Emily thought about her options. She could turn the wallet over to the police, security, take it into a store to find it's owner, or call credit card companies. 

An hour and forty-five minutes later with no results she called her pastor for advice and he advised her to call mall security.  She called the Winter Garden Village mall security office and gave them her number to claim their lost wallet.  A few minutes later she received a call from the owner of the missing wallet.  She met the family along with mall security. The missing wallet was received with tears and hugs.  The Brazilian tourist saw the kindness of a Christian American girl, as he viewed all the contents still intact in his wallet. His credit cards, pre-paid American Express cards and two-thousand dollars cash as well as his travel documents were all there. He gave her a generous award for her honesty, but the greater reward was that God's glory was seen through Emily. She became someone's miracle.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day Miracle

 
Yesterday, Mothers Day 2013 I was reminded of the goodness of God.  I started the day with the words to the song To God Be The Glory (by Andre Crouch) cascading through my mind.  How can I say "Thanks" God? How can I tell YOU how much you mean to me?  I know I've told this story before, but I am so thankful for what God did, I must share it again...

I was married in the late summer of 1992.  My husband and I had enjoyed a blissful first year of marriage.  We were ready to start a family as we celebrated the second year of our marriage.  Little did I know it wasn't going to be that easy.  I was told by my gynecologist to relax, I would have kids, no problem.  The second year of our marriage turned into the third and then fourth year of infertility. Four years seems like a short time, looking back, but to me it truly was 1,460 days.

My yearning to have a child was so intense.  Extended family members had their hands full caring for their darling children.  My hands were empty.  I know how Hannah, in the Bible, must have felt as she knelt before God and Eli that day with her soundless petition.  Her heart must have felt like it was being squeezed out of her chest.  I dreaded Mother's Day.  I would sit on the church pew trying to force the lump in my throat not to turn into tears.  Every year became more difficult.  It went from bad to worse.

As the ushers passed out flowers, they always passed me by, "You're not a mom, yet!," They'd joke. 
I started taking clomid and other fertility drugs.  These drugs affected my emotions and did nothing for my situation.  Well meaning friends could not feel the depths of my hurt.  I remember locking myself in a bathroom stall and weeping, after a well meaning friend said, "No babies yet?"  No. Babies. Yet.  My situation began to feel impossible. Fertility charts lined my wall, thermometer by my bed...negative pregnancy tests, over and over again. "Has God forgotten me," I wondered. "How could people have abortions, or give their children up for adoption?" I couldn't understand. At one point in our struggle my husband and I considered adopting twins, but the adoption never worked out. 

Then the miracle happened! Mother's Day 16 years ago...the Pastor of our church called me to come forward and stand in front of the altar.  This was very uncomfortable, and I was feeling more like Hannah by the minute.  He began prophesying that my husband and I would have a baby--that I would be expecting by this time the following year. 

It came to pass the way he said. I was expecting by the next Mother's Day and in November I gave birth to Sarah Elisabeth.  Elisabeth means Oath of God.  Sarah was my promised baby and a testimony to me that God keeps HIS PROMISES.  Sarah has been such a blessing in our lives.  I dedicated her to God. God is faithful!  She will be going on her first missions trip this year to Puerto Rico to visit an orphanage and be a part of the Youth On Missions Team.  God didn't stop there but blessed us with two more daughters.  I also know the heartache of losing a baby, for I had a miscarriage in between the birth of Savannah and Sadie. In spite of the struggle, and loss, God has filled my cup to overflowing!

This story is not meant to seek sympathy from you, but for you to realize how AWESOME and AMAZING God is.  God wants to receive Glory in our lives. It is through our stories of heartache and pain, He gets GLORY!  The situations you go through in this life are opportunities for God to work and get GLORY. The trials of our faith make us realize the Rock of Ages is our anchor of hope.  Everyday we need to realize the closeness of our friend Jesus. We need to know that there is a God who really cares about our smallest need or biggest problem.  There are some things we go through in life that press us to the point where we lack understanding, and start relying on His GRACE! This testimony is for you to know that God cares for you! When your hurt goes so deep that all you can do is move your lips in a cry of desperation, you can know that someday it will produce a song... To God be the GLORY!!!
 
Psalm 113:9 " He maketh the barren woman to keep house and to be a joyful mother of children, Praise the Lord."

Friday, May 3, 2013

Mother's Day Spa for the Soul

This is a post from a previous mother's day, just wanted to share.-Jen


Breathe Deep and Relax in God...



Soak 

Soak up quiet moments with God. Psalm 46:10 states, "Be still and know that I am God."  Sometimes it is good for us to sit in God's presence.  We need to become quiet.  Sometimes it's easy to have quiet around us but we if have so much inner noise going on, we can't truly be still.  We need to clear our minds and focus on God's presence.  Think about His love for you...Be still and know that He is God.


Exfoliate

Hyssop was used in Bible times as a cleansing herbal agent.  It was also used for purification and sacrifice. When David wrote "Purge me with hyssop" he was asking God to cleanse his heart to make him clean and free from sin.  Sometimes we need God to "scrub" away attitudes of unbelief, anger, depression and guilt from our lives.  This weekend is a good time to spend time in prayer asking God to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Cry out to Jesus, He is ready to listen.


Tranquility

"My peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27  Focus on God's peace.  Turn your fears and worries over to Jesus, the One who cares for you.  Let the Prince of Peace rule in your heart. As the hymn says,  "Turn your eyes on Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace."  


Restore

"He restoreth my soul." Ps. 23:3 Literally means He causes my life to return.  He causes me to live.  Sometimes life becomes difficult and so stressful, that we need God to restore our souls.  Let the One who gave you life, restore your life.  If you are becoming weary in your journey, ask God to give you new life.  Ask God to breathe new life into you. 


Renew

True renewal is a deep renovation of the heart.  Let God transform your thinking.  You can do all things through Christ. You can make it. You have a purpose. Your life is meaningful. You are loved by a living God who cares for you.  Let God renew you.  "Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." Romans 12:2  Life brings it's share of challenges, take some quiet moments to let God renew your mind. Start thanking God for the good things that He has blessed you with.  "They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as an eagle." Isaiah 40:31

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Lesson from Savvy Grace

The following blog post is written by my 13 year old daughter. She actually used this lesson for her Sunday School class.  I thought it was too good not to share. God Bless You!



Throughout the book of Psalm we are told to give thanks to God.

Psalm 136:1

"Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love endures forever."


Psalm 118:21

"I will give thanks, for you have answered me you have become my salvation."

 

Psalm 28:7

 "The Lord is my strength and my shield my heart trusts in him and I will give thanks to him in song."


What are you thankful for ?

Even though it's not Thanksgiving  we should give thanks everyday and today is a great time to start!
Some people withhold praise and thanks to God when he has blessed them. Some people only praise and thank God when they want something from him.  Sometimes we don't realize how blessed we are to have something till its gone. Sometimes we don't understand our parents or relatives  until they go out of town or move and you realize how they helped you so much.  Sometimes we fail to thank God for the simple things He has blessed us with.  For example, we realize how much help it was to have a dishwasher when it breaks, you realize how much help it was to have it.

Sometimes instead of thanking God for who he made us to be we complain about how "Oh I hate my hair or I have a funny nose or I'm fat or I don't look like a model." Whoever said you had to be like that? Why try to change the beautiful creation God has made you! Just be thankful that you have a body that is healthy and nothing is really wrong with you. It's just how you see your self. It doesn't matter if your nose is weird or hair is frizzy or your a bit overweight--because you should just be thankful you are alive! Psalm 139:14 I praise you because  I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Even when life isn't perfect, even if your day doesn't turn out right--
still thank God for every minute you have with your friends and family and just enjoy life!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Prayer for Life


Dear Lord,

Thank you for this day. Thank you for this fragile moment and every millisecond you've given me.

Help me realize that this day may hold surprises--unplanned events.

Let me know that your plans and your ways are perfect--even when I fail to understand.

Allow me to feel secure in you. Give me the reassurance that your hand is in mine as we
dance this Life waltz, together.

Just for today help me to forgive and-- please forgive me.  Let me take advantage of every opportunity to show kindness and love to others.  Use my voice, my hands and my feet.

Please DON'T let me live my life as a checklist. As I go from one activity to the next, help me to SEE, FEEL and EXPERIENCE the treasure of TODAY.

Let me always remember that I find my passion and purpose by talking to YOU first. You know what today holds, what's best for me...that is enough!

Help me prioritize, Your WILL first. What you want me to do today is more important than anything else on my agenda.

Let me be a carrier of your message for Your glory and Your namesake.

In Jesus Name I pray.

Amen.---J. Lyn Jones

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Turn Your Eyes...

Hi Friend,

I just came back from a much needed family vacation last Sunday.  It's amazing when I'm on vacation how things look different.  Suddenly, the road I've driven down one thousand times seems smoother. All at once I notice birds flying in formation. The orange blossoms smell sweeter.  An awareness of God's creation fills my mind, cleaning out cobwebs of mundane life.  Even the rain clouds look better. 

A lot of life is perspective. Have you ever noticed that if you get focused on worrying about something, that it starts to consume you?  I've had days that the sun is shining, but there's a dark cloud of anxiety and gloom over my heart.  I've had days that I wanted to hide under the covers of my bed and not come out.  Depression? Oppression? Maybe.  Whatever the reason, sometimes we just don't want to face LIFE! It is times like these that we have to remember, this life won't last forever.  It is at these moments we need to focus our attention on JESUS.

As the old song, by Helen Lemmel says...

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!


Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of this world will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

When we allow Jesus to be the focus of our life, our perspective changes. He lifts our minds and emotions to a higher place.  The miracles that He does for us each day, giving us breath, life, love, friends, and a new day, is enough. Everyday will not feel or look like a vacation day.  However, if you're going through a trial of your faith, turn your eyes upon Jesus, cast your burden on Him and let Him bring the sunshine back into your life. Love & Blessings--j.lyn jones

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Unfailing Love


There's a song that I memorized when I was about 12 years old called Unfailing Love by Evie Tourquist.  It goes something like this...

Unfailing love flows from His heart and heals my soul,
In spite of who I am He came and made me whole,
I almost can't believe it's so, unfailing love, and yet I know,
He gave His life, to give to me, unfailing love. 
If the highest mountain turn to ashes,
If the mighty river should run dry,
Should sun and moon be darkened,
I still will trust in Him, He's watching from above,
I'm trusting in His love.

Psalm 143:8 "Let the MORNING bring me the WORD of your UNFAILING LOVE."
What is unfailing love?  Unfailing means, inexhaustible, never running out. So God's love is a love that never runs out and never stops.  God's love is a love that keeps on loving us, even at our worst moments. 
The Bible tells us that God's mercies are new every morning.  Every morning there is enough love from Him to get us through the day.  You are loved.  What an awesome thought to think that the Creator of all heaven and nature has an endless supply of love that never runs out.
I think back to a time when I was hospitalized for 5 days.  The nights, when I was by myself, seemed so long. It seemed like morning would never come.  I wonder if that was what David was thinking of when he talked about the morning bringing the word of God's unfailing love.  The morning brings hope.  Sometimes the "night" in your life can feel so long.  Don't forget morning is on the way.  Don't forget that God loves you.  As Phil Vischer states, "God doesn't love me for what I can do for him, he just loves me, when I've done nothing at all."
This week rest in the knowledge of God's unfailing love. -- j.lyn jones 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Forgiveness Ledgers




Dear Friends,

The subject I am going to share today is one that I have deeply struggled with throughout my life.  The subject of ..."Forgiveness." I know that we've all had to deal with forgiveness issues, at sometime or another.  I have been hurt before, to the point of coming to the crossroads of choice. Will I become bitter, because of the way someone has hurt me, or will I become better?  I have been to the point of having hatred in my heart towards another person.   It was ugly and it was keeping my prayers from being answered.  The bitterness that was growing inside me, was robbing me of my very life.  Thankfully, God helped me to let go of my hurt, and I was able to forgive.  Had God not helped me, I would still be an extremely angry and bitter person.  The following story I am going to share with you was told by Rev. Tony Bailey of Stockton, California.  He is the author of several books on prayer. (Available at Kindle.) This story is from his CD series titled, "Forgiveness."  I pray you are touched, healed and blessed as much as I was by hearing it.  May the God of all forgiveness and grace give you supernatural power to forgive...and set you free.

Love,

---Jen
The Forgiveness Ledgers
excerpts from Rev. Tony Bailey's Sermon "Forgiveness"
 
Matthew 18:7 KJV "...it must needs be that offense comes..."  It is inevitable that you and I will be offended. Offense will come to us and has come to us. However, what we have to decide is how we will deal with the offenses that happen.  Most of the time other people will be the source of our hurt and offense.  Most of the time offense is brought to us by people we love very deeply.  Sometimes offense comes from ourselves. At times we have to forgive ourselves. It is a daily walk with God, and we need to practice forgiveness daily. We need to forgive ourselves and others often to keep our hearts pure and free. Another source of offense is God. God can bring offense into our lives for purification.  He wants the bitterness in us, past and present, to come to the surface to make us deal with it. Once we deal with it, we can be emotionally healed and made whole. Jesus wants us to be pure and free from all offense caused bitterness, so that we can be better conductors of His glory.  By bringing our impurities to the surface God can purify us and take the bitterness out of our spirits.

Matthew 6:12, 14 KJV "Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors...For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." If we don't forgive others, God can't forgive us.   I need mercy, so I must give mercy.  I need grace, I must give grace. I need forgiveness, I must give forgiveness. It was my sin that nailed Jesus to the cross.  Jesus paid everything for my sin.  Through Jesus, I can and must forgive. We need mercy everyday. God's mercy is new every morning. Because we need mercy everyday, and we must give mercy everyday. (Matthew 5:7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.") God needs us to be conductors of His Glory! If we have anger, hurt and resentment eating at our hearts, we are robbed of the joy Jesus wants us to have. We must fall on God's mercy and ask God to purify us and forgive others through us. True forgiveness only comes through Christ.  We don't have the power to forgive on our own. We have to let Jesus forgive through us.  It takes as much of a miracle to forgive, as it does to believe God for divine healing.

Remember the story of the man who was sick with the palsy? Jesus asked the people who were gathered around him, "Which is it easier to do...forgive sins or heal?" The people replied, that only God could forgive sins.  The only way we can forgive others is with God's help.

The Lord showed Rev. Bailey a vision.  He saw a bookcase filled with ledgers. He went to the shelf took down the first ledger and opened it. As he viewed the page of the ledger, he saw names of people who had offended him throughout his life.  At the top of the page of the ledger was the name of the person who had offended him. Under the name were the offenses committed by that person.  The offenses had been crossed out.  The words PAID IN FULL were written at the bottom of each page. Rev. Bailey could remember the time when he had forgiven that person.  He thought perhaps God was showing him this to commend him for forgiving them. Then he saw other ledgers on the bookcase.  As he took the other ledgers and opened them, they were the same as the first. Names and crossed out offenses were written on the pages. Again, PAID IN FULL was scrawled at the bottom. Finally, he got to the last ledger. In his vision Jesus pulled out the ledger, and said, "This is the ledger I keep on you." As he opened this ledger, much to his surprise, the pages were blank. There was nothing on the pages... nothing was crossed out. Jesus had paid every debt in full, but the debts weren't even remembered. The offenses and sins were nowhere to be seen.  Jesus spoke to him and said, "This is how I forgave you, I want you to do the same for others." 

Forgiveness, is one of the most difficult acts of surrender we will ever experience in our lives.  It takes supernatural help to forgive.  On our own, we can't do it.  It takes God to help us.  God wants to make all things new for us. He wants us to forgive, so He can forgive us.  Though it may take years for us to forget, Jesus can help us with the first step...forgiving.

1.  Get alone with God. 

2. Pray this prayer with me: 

Jesus flow through me and help me to forgive ___________________________.  I release _________________________  of the following offenses: _____________________________.  I ask you to make me free, as if this offense never happened.  Help me to love _______________________ like you love them.  Let your power of forgiveness flow through me. Heal me of my hurts. Help me to let go of the words spoken, and the deeds done.  As my sins crucified you, and you forgave me, let me forgive ___________________.  Make me an instrument in Your hands to give grace, mercy, and pardon. Renew me with your Holy Spirit. I need your help. Create in me a clean heart, wash me and I will be whiter than snow.

In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

True Love by J.Lyn Jones

true love 

where can you be found...

in young love's first kisses,

heart pounding passion

consuming desire?

you evade us

as we look for you --

like a fading sunset melts

into black darkness...

perhaps it's our eyes,

we can't see your truth--

you are not found in the feeling

of falling and soaring...

you, true love, can be seen on the Cross,

found in the eyes of self denial--

the lowest of duties, humility,

serving, giving, helping.

faithful, loving

when it hurts, when it's difficult,

preferring others, laying down self,

never failing, and enduring.

you exist in the ordinary and

the extraordinary-- caring for

the sick, dying, broken, wounded,

always believing and redeeming.


     true love

       you are

       found

          in

      unending

    SACRIFICE. --j.j.














Monday, February 4, 2013

Awesome God Moments!

 "The Heavens declare the GLORY of God; the firmament showeth His handiwork." Ps 19:1

The Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica was awe-inspiring. I walked in quiet reverance, enthralled at God's creation. Thick vegetation covered the sides of the dirt path. It was like being transported to the Garden of Eden and feeling the breath of God.  Misty silence descended on the tropical flowers that lined the path, like a chapel ready for a wedding.  I couldn't help but whisper, "God You are SO Awesome!" The rainforest canopy covered the path as raindrops began to splash on outstretched leaves. I wanted to linger in this amazing place.
 
Have you ever had moments like that?  Moments that take your breath away.  Moments that make you want to sing at the top of your lungs, "How great THOU ART!"?

When I see the awesome display of God's majesty, I realize just how much He loves me.  I understand a little bit more, that He is in control. I have more faith to trust His Sovereignty.  I feel His grace.  I think to myself, "If God can create all this, is there anything He can't do?" 

PS 36:5 NIV
"Your Love Oh Lord, reaches to the Heavens, your faithfulness reaches to the skies."

May everything you do and see bring you closer to HIM.-- j.jones








I










--j.lyn jones



Monday, January 21, 2013

The Sculptor

I attended a Children's Pastor's Conference in Orlando last week.  I arrived early one day, to have a rare moment of alone time. I sat still... a difficult task for a full time wife, as well as, mom of three girls. This particular day I felt like a God was handing me a gift.    I chose to sit at a cafe' table, close to the edge of a pond and tuned in to hear the voice of God. The morning sun slanted through the clouds as a misty vapor rose from the water's quiet surface.  Pen in hand, I sat staring at the blank yellow notebook page in front of me. A quote I heard the previous week played over in my mind. 

"To be human is to be beautifully flawed." (From the movie October Baby). 
 
Well this wasn't a pleasant topic for me, because I have a human nature that loves perfection.  God prompted me to find out about flawed sculptures.  I Googled "flawed sculptures" on my phone.  This is what I read:
 

"Sculptors have to deal with the limitations of their stone. It may not be the same size or shape as their design. They must adjust the design. Michelangelo had to design his colossal David from a block with a hole in the middle.    -from the website The Best Artists

In my 43 years I had never read or heard about this. 
 
I didn't know much about Michelangelo's sculpture so I Googled "Michelangelo's David."  I discovered that the sculpture David is said to be the most beautiful sculpture of all.  David is estimated to be worth about 400 million dollars.  I pondered.  Michelangelo's masterpiece David started out to be a piece of marble with a gaping hole in it?
 
Then God started speaking to my heart.  "You, daughter, are like that block of marble. You are beautifully flawed.  Now here's the deal. Flaws don't bother Me. I created you the way you are and knew the moment you were born in the fallen world in which you live.  I am aware of your failings. My eyes have observed all your moments.  I know the things that you were born with and wish you could change.  I have studied the history of your life, the good and bad. I saw and see the pain, the joy, the moments that shouldn't have been and the moments that were. I see your heart.  I know your insecurities, even the walls that you build to keep people out.  I am using your brokeness and imperfections, to make my glory shine brighter in your life. I love you just the way you are and I care for you."

Tears surfaced as I was reminded of God's unfailing love.  I realized how He sees me.  That He truly sees Me for who I am-- all that I'm not and loves me anyway. Not only does He see and know me, He's still chipping away, as the sovereign Sculptor, at the "stuff" in my life.  I just have to be still and let Him work.


To be human is to be beautifully flawed and perfectly loved by God, our Sculptor.--jj

 



Tuesday, January 8, 2013

God Answers Every Prayer

It's an amazing thought that God answers every prayer that we pray.  Heaven's "mail room" has no 'Return to Sender' stamped envelopes.  God may take His time answering our prayers, but He will answer.  Sometimes the answer comes speedily.  Sometimes the answer is "No." However, God answers and hears EVERY prayer. 

Recently in my Bible reading I the story of Hagar grabbed my attention. Hagar was Abraham's maid and the mother of his first child. The child Ishmael was the product of Abraham and Sarah's impatience.  Hagar was so distressed by Sarah's harsh treatment that she ran away.  In her brokenness she had a God encounter.  It is recorded in Genesis the 16th chapter that God saw Hagar and sent an angel to tell her to name her son Ishmael that means "God Hears."  At this moment Hagar starts referring to God as El-roi "The God who sees me."  She had a personal experience that let her know that God cared for her.  This encounter gave her the courage needed to return to her mistress. 

Hagar a simple maid, had a God experience in her distress, that made her aware that God was aware of her and that He saw HER situation.  This story gave me faith to believe that if God heard and saw Hagar, God also sees and knows OUR situations.  Sometimes our desperation is good for us because it leads us closer to the One who loves us and can help us.

Have you ever been broken to the point of desperately crying out to God? Maybe you even felt like you couldn't pray anymore prayers? Have you felt like your prayers weren't being heard?  Just because we don't see the answer, it doesn't mean God didn't hear us.  God sees. God hears. God answers. Every prayer.

Hannah in the Bible was so distraught that the preacher thought she was drunk.  Hannah couldn't produce an audible utterance.  Her soul itself made intercession to God.  We have moments as humans when we come to the end of ourselves. At those moments God sees and hears. He answers the cries of our heart. 

We must be aware that God's answers may not be what we expect. However, we can rest in the knowledge that God's ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts are beyond our thoughts. Isaiah 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways, declares the Lord." (NIV) God sees the eternal picture. His plan works all things for our good.

Today be assured that God sees your situation, God knows what you are going through, and God will answer your prayers.

1Peter 5:12
 "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their cries."

Psalm 46:1 KJV

"God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble."

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