Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Perfect Peace



 "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." 
Collosians 3:15

Peace is the presence of God ruling in your heart in ALL situations. 

Peace is not the absence of rain clouds, it is knowing that God will give you shelter from the storm. Peace is walking through the fire, with an attitude of calm and quiet trust. 




Peace doesn't consist of a problem free existence.  

Peace is not the absence of suffering, but it is a blessed assurance in the midst of suffering, that God is in control. 
Peace is simply letting the God of Creation rule as king of your heart and life. Peace does not mean you have a perfect life, it's knowing how to have perfect serenity through it all...

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." Isaiah 26:3


                                                                                                       ---Jennifer Jones

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Going Through

Hi Friend,

Life. Happens. Much of what happens in life, we have little or no control over.  


When I was an Elementary public school teacher, one of my favorite children's books to share, was We're Going on a Bear Hunt. It is a picture book about three children who go on a bear hunt with their father. The children encounter many obstacles on their bear seeking adventure.  They encounter mud, tall grass, and a raging river.  Each time the chant is "can't go over it, can't go under it, oh no, gotta go through it."  Many times life is the same way.  We encounter situations that there is no way out, around or over.  We simply have to go through it.  The "raging river" of situations, circumstances and trials is right in front of us, in our face and we must go through.  Life is a series of overcoming moments. Just as the father was with these children in this story, we must remember that our Heavenly Father is with us.  Whatever situation is in front of us, we can be strong and have courage if we remember God is with us.  I had a "raging river" moment this past week. Fear, stress, and anxiety threatened to steal my peace and joy.  I couldn't escape the reality I was facing.  It was a desperate situation.  What started with an identity theft attack at the beginning of the week, escalated into an incident that froze all of our finances.  We were powerless to change our situation. We are now getting to the other side of the river, although we're still facing the aftermath.  This week has been a week of prayer and telling myself, we're going to get through this.  I don't know what you are facing today, but you can and will get through this.  YOU. WILL. GET. THROUGH. THIS.



"Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?... But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us."…
"Then He said to me, 'It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. 'He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son." Revelation 21:6-7.

Prayers and blessings to you today.
--Jen

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Protected!

This is a re-post from a couple of years ago. I dedicate this blog post to those who are in the Military, those who have served in the Military or to those with family in the Military. 
You are appreciated and loved! 
The following story is told by my husband's uncle. 


From Pocket Miracles by Lois Jones
as told by Rev. John Brigmond

During one of my tours of duty in Vietnam, I was housed in the countryside while my army buddies were housed in the city of Saigon.  Vietnam was celebrating the New Year and I was off duty for the weekend.  Not knowing what was going to happen, I decided to visit my buddies in the city. We planned a barbecue and even invited Saigon's Chief of Police.  We bought a case of chickens and other food that we needed for our celebration. The Chief of Police stayed for a while and then went back on duty.  As we were finishing our meal the Viet Cong invaded Saigon.  Their army gained control over two-thirds of the city, in what is now known as the TET offensive.  The place where we had just enjoyed our feast was part of the city that came under the control of the Viet Cong.

As we listened to the Armed Forces Radio, we heard that if any of the military were in that part of the city they needed to stay indoors until help arrived.  Explosive gunfire was all around us.  The enemy raided the city destroying anything related to our military. As we peeked through the curtains of the house, we saw the Viet Cong military marching and killing people in the streets. This went on for ten days as we continued to hide.  While we were hiding in the house, our Army jeep was parked outside in plain view.  I believe God placed a shield around this vehicle during our time of hiding.  If the enemy had seen the vehicle, it would have alerted them to our hiding place. If they had noticed it, they would not have only destroyed the jeep, but killed us as well.  

With all the bombings and destruction around us, others lost electricity and water.  We were never without power. Another miracle, the Armed Forces Radio was never interrupted and kept us updated.  Not only did we have water, electricity, and radio communication we also had plenty of food from our New Years feast to keep us alive ten days. Looking back, I realize the danger that surrounded us.  I know the hand of God protected and hid us from the enemies view.  God provided both provision and protection. Is anything too difficult for HIM?

God has a plan for every life.  In every situation God's hand can be seen.   "All things work together for good, to those who love God..." The rest of the story of the life of John Brigmond is that God called him to preach.  God used him as a pastor and church planter. God always has a higher purpose and a plan. He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"New Day" Guest Writer: Jo Alice Walker

New Day!

Sun rising---New Day!

Clouds swirl

Leaves twirl

Wind hums---New Day!


Hope revealed---Believe!

Secrets concealed

Desires congealed

New Day---Believe!


Darkness creeps---Trust!

Fear trembles

Faith assembles

Life engulfs---trust!

New Day!





Thursday, March 13, 2014

lessons from children


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My favorite ministry in the WHOLE WORLD is children's ministry. Each Sunday I have the privilege of working with an amazing group of kids and teachers at the First Pentecostal Church of Orlando.  I am always amazed at the humility and innocence of the children.  Last Sunday our lesson was about forgiveness.  Forgiveness. An easy subject to discuss, but an extremely difficult one to practice.  I stood facing a group of kids ages five to ten.  I asked them if they had ever done anything wrong. I then asked them if they received forgiveness for what they did.  I was amazed at the candid examples the kids gave me.  They told me the offense they committed, and then they explained how they were forgiven. Some had broken their parent's cell phones--and worse. They shared how they felt, some even wanted to hide the offense, but they told their parents anyway and received forgiveness. We then talked about emotional offenses. I asked them if their feelings had ever been hurt. I also asked them if there was anyone who had done something wrong against them and if they had forgiven them.  They wrote on a post-it note the names of the people they needed to forgive. They also wrote the sins they had committed for which they needed God's forgiveness.  Then we lined up at the door with our post-it notes in hand.  We walked out to the three crosses that stand in the grassy area outside our church. We put our notes on the cross in the center, symbolizing that we were giving our offenses to God. We prayed as a group and went back to class symbolically leaving with forgiveness, our sins and names left at the cross.


In our session we discussed the steps of forgiveness:

1. Choose it!
2. Pray it!
3. Say it!
4. Forget it!

First we have to choose to forgive. Second, we need to pray that God will help us to forgive. We then need to say what it is that we forgive. Last we must let it go. (The memory may be there, but give the memory to God. Through His grace and help we can move on.)

In teaching these kids, I am always learning lessons. I could see so clearly what Jesus meant when He said that we had to become like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven.

"And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children,
 you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."  Matthew 18:3 NIV

This means coming to God in humble openness. Honest, vulnerable, simply accepting God's forgiveness and graciously granting forgiveness to others.  When we come to God as children, we come to God with an honest heart, not hiding all our mistakes and messes!  We have faith that He as a loving Father forgives and accepts us.                                   ----Jennifer Jones 


Monday, March 3, 2014

The Lost Keys


The year was 1993.  My husband Mark and I were newlyweds and struggling financially.  I was finishing coursework for my degree in Education and he was working full time for Universal Studios. His responsibilities included exercising the horses for the Wild Wild West show.  One day as he was horseback riding through the 20 acre + property.  His keys, including our one and only key for the 1969 Chevelle fell out of his pocket.  My husband searched the vast acreage, but to no avail.  

At the time we had no money to pay a locksmith to make another one. Living from paycheck to paycheck gave no luxury of a savings or an emergency fund. Thankfully, when we got married, we each had a car. Both of our cars were older, and it was reassuring to have a transportation backup plan, in case one of them needed repair. So we still had a vehicle, but we HAD to find the missing keys.

After Mark spent hours searching for the lost keys, I picked him up from work.  The car stayed parked at Universal Studios over the weekend and the keys remained lost.  Sunday, after church, with heavy hearts and a little faith we rode out to Universal, parked the car, and walked out to the enormous field.  We knew it would take Divine help to find ANYTHING in that field. We joined hands and prayed, pleading with God for what we needed.  Finding the keys looked impossible as we scoured the 20 + acres.  Time passed, our search was becoming more hopeless by the minute. We were just about to give up, when I noticed something shiny in a clump of scrubby weeds about a foot away from where I was standing.  Examining the the silvery glint a bit closer I realized it was a set of keys. Yes! It was the missing Chevelle keys. We stood rejoicing in the middle of the 20 acres of pasture land at Universal Studios! We knew God had answered our prayer of desperation and given us a miracle.

That was about 20 years ago, but miracles still happen. God is still God! Maybe you haven't lost a set of keys, but maybe it's something else? Maybe you've lost your health, joy, hope or passion? Maybe you have unsaved family members or lost loved ones? God still works miracles. He can restore what you've lost. Keep praying! Keep believing!                                --by Jennifer Jones


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Give Us...THIS Day...

Thank you Lord for the sunrise THIS morning. I have never before seen this exact sky.
The delicate blues and yellows, streaked with feathery wonder.

Thank you Lord for THIS morning's warm breakfast.  Provision for THIS day, brings a sweet reminder that You are taking care of me.

Thank you Lord for THIS day's relationships. Phone calls, emails, texts, on THIS day. The thought that I am loved and alive brings my heart joy!

Thank you Lord for grace THIS day. I know you remember that I am human. As I take the first deep breath today, I commit to let every breath I take today, bring glory to YOU.

Thank you Lord for the beauty in my life. Let me see with eyes of gratitude each natural work of art. May I notice the exquisite design of Your creation.

Thank you Lord for the calm assurance that no matter what happens on THIS day, that as long as You are with me, I have all I need.

Thank you Lord for reminding me that I serve you THIS day.  I cannot undo the past. I cannot live in tomorrow. THIS day is all I have.  Thank you Lord for THIS day.  ~Jennifer Jones


Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Love Letter from Heaven

Dear Child,


I want to write to you today to reaffirm my love for you.  If you ever doubt my love...stand on the shores of the ocean. View the waves, imagine the depths. My love for you is deeper. Now gaze at the sky. My unfailing love and mercy extend farther than you can see, into the vastness of the galaxies.  I know it's difficult to fathom such love.  Human love is often depleted and leaves you longing for more.  You try to fill the pockets of your soul with man's affirmation and acceptance. All you really need is to be filled with my love.  My love is unending and eternal.  I gave my life for you my friend. I knew it wasn't enough to say I love you through my creation.  A thousand sunsets and stars could never make the statement that was made on the cross. I not only loved you, I wanted to spend forever with you.  I died, to prove my love for you and resurrected so that you could spend forever with me. "Greater love has no man than this, that a man would lay down his life for His friends." So my friend, today if you're feeling empty or unloved...remember I Love You!  


Forever & always,


Your Savior, Jesus


Monday, February 3, 2014

strength for the journey

A Strong Woman

knows she has strength 

enough for the journey, 

but a woman of strength, 

knows it is in the journey 

where she will become strong.

---C.S. Lewis (shared by Jo Alice Walker)

Monday, January 27, 2014

No Worries!



Matthew 6:25-3425 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink;




 nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?


27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.


In today's language...No Worries! God is in control.                                                                                                                 --J.Jones

Monday, January 20, 2014

Trusting the Story Weaver



The Story Weaver

Story Weaver

My life's threads, a jumbled tangled mess of colors, needing your touch.

I hand you my soul's fibers,

Let your healing hand mend the frayed edges, please make me new.

I give you my brokenness,

Remind me that the black threads of life's trials will be a glorious pattern when YOU are finished.

Please abide with me,

Let me know that the threads of gold you weave come from your exclusive storehouse of grace.

I give you my struggles and insecurities,

Give me courage to trust you to weave the story of my life-- until it becomes a tapestry for YOUR glory.

May I appreciate the emerging canvas for it's unique blend of light and shadows.

May I forever give you praise,  for YOU, Jesus, are my hope, my God, my Savior,

My Story Weaver.   ---  J.Jones



My Life is but a weaving
between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.

Oft times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.

Not til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

He knows, He loves, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
Who leave the choice with Him.

-----Author Unknown




Monday, January 13, 2014

Courage

My 7 year old daughter Sadie stood trembling, on the top landing of a 425 step trail that descended to the base of  a breathtaking waterfall.  We arrived after completing a rigorous 1.5 mile hike up the mountain. We decided to return to our starting point a different way. This included the 425 stairs next to the rushing waterfall. Frightened, Sadie clenched my hand tighter.  With her face buried in the side of my coat, she refused to budge. My own stomach lurched as I gazed through the metal slats of the massive stairway as it spiraled downward.  It was going to take a lot of encouragement to persuade Sadie to take the first step. (Not to mention me-- finding inner courage for myself!)  I was hoping we would make it to our car before sundown.  My husband stood behind us as we took our first step.  He reassured Sadie that he wasn't going to let her go.  He took her left hand, as her right hand already had a death grip on mine. We started our journey down the mountain.  Each step we took was accompanied with a word of encouragement and a whispered prayer. ("Lord please get us through this!")

"You can do this, Sadie!"

"We've come halfway."

"Just a little bit further."

As we approached the last step, she relaxed her grip. She made it! We made it!


On my way back to the car, God started speaking to my heart.  Sometimes we are in a spiritual mountain climb--going up or coming down.  Fearful, we view the crisis before us. Moments of despair leave us clinging to the rail of life, desperate for answers and rescue. We falter. Our stomachs churn with fear, doubt and hopelessness. It is at these moments Jesus wants to come beside us and take our hand. He wants to give us hope and courage.

I don't know what crisis you have faced or are facing today. Foreclosure papers served? Sickness surrounding you? Have loved ones passed away or left your side? Is depression or loneliness covering you like a dark cloud that won't go away? How do you brave the storm and have courage to live? It's easier to pull the covers over your head...and give up.  However, defeat is NOT God's plan for your life. He has promised that He will never leave you nor forsake you. He wants you to have hope and courage. Remember--one step at a time. One day at a time. Let God hold your hand. Give this day to Him. Talk to Him. Let Him talk to you. He loves and cares for you. Have courage. With God's help YOU can make it! ---J.Jones

"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." Joshua 1:9 KJV

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 KJV

"What time I am afraid , I will trust in thee." Psalm 56:3

                                                                  






Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Hide...

Psalm 62: 1-2 KJV
1 Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation.
2 He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.

Hide in Me    
 by Jo Alice Walker

Let our God of Strength uplift your soul,
Let Him roll all Darkness away.
Let the Light of Grace shine out through you,
And let His Word become your stay.

Let Him speak to Sorrow, "Be no more",
Let Him shout to Desperation---Flee!"
Let Him rock you, cradled in His Hope,
Let Him whisper, "Come, now, hide in Me."


Psalm 46:1 KJV

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

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