In the spirit of LISTENING for God’s voice to speak, when I am in the car by myself I am trying to listen to sermons so that God can fill my brain with His Word and Truth rather than allowing the stillness and quiet to let Satan fill my mind with questions and concerns.

Today I had to get a CT scan of my head and I felt like it was the perfect time for my head to be filled with TRUTH!  So I decided to listen to part 3 of “The Power of the Same” by Steven Furtick.  This particular week’s message title was “This May Take A While.”  I highly recommend listening to the whole set of messages, but I wanted to share this thought:

I am not going to be inconsistent in the friendships that matter, so that I can be consistent with the relationships that really don’t count.  And it isn’t because I don’t want to be friends with everybody, but I realize that I am not The Vine.  And to stay connected in a meaningful way to some people, I can’t be connected to all people.

These thought has been hitting me over and over these last few weeks as I have been leading some women through the book The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst.  I have to be consistent in what really matters.  I have to protect the relationships that really count.  I can’t people-please.  I can’t go through life in a rush.

I MUST slow down and be consistent with the friendships that REALLY matter.  So today I will focus on blessing my husband and my kids.  I will call my mom, just so she knows I love her.  And I will check on a friend who I know is hurting.

How can you be consistent with the relationships that count??

If you want to listen to this sermon series, go to http://elevationchurch.org/sermons/the-power-of-same

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Love is (part 3)

It has been my goal to look at the Bible’s definition of what LOVE IS and hold that up to my definition of love.  Yes, God’s definition will win out in my life every time.  However without an intentional look at what God says love is, I will continue to love my way and not God’s.  In August I looked at love is patient and love is kind.

Today I want to explore:

envy

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what Merriam-Webster says that envy is– “painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage”.  So to be envious I have to have painful and/or resentful thoughts/attitude toward someone that enjoys something that I want to enjoy myself.

Now, I typically don’t see myself as an “envious” person.  I try very hard to be thankful for all the things that God has given to me because God has blessed me and my family a TON.  But I don’t believe that envy applies only to material possessions.  I believe it goes along with relationships and time and a host of other things.

I have noticed that sadly I do find myself thinking “Oh, I wish my husband would express his love to me like that…” Or “Oh, I wish I still had that close friendship with…”  Or “Oh, I wish my children and I could…”  And those are envious thoughts.

Thoughts of comparison usually lead to envy and envy is not love.  So how can I stop the envy??  I believe it comes down to a few things:

  • being thankful for the things God gives me, whether that is a relationship or a material blessing
  • being thankful for the season I am in with relationships that God has given me
  • trying to be the person that God has made ME to be
  • not allowing myself to mindless scroll through Facebook and Instagram because this can lead to envy.  Pastor Stephen Furtick says “We struggle with insecurity (and I would add envy) because we compare our behind-the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”  You don’t often see statuses or pics of people’s bad days and this is where social media gets me in trouble.  Seeing the “highlight reel” and wishing for THAT rather than knowing that “real life” is happening but not being shared!  Actually Pastor Furtick preached a great message about this very thing.  You can find it at:  http://elevationchurch.org/sermons/the-hope-of-glory  The message you want to listen to is Part Four- The Problem with Pinterst.

I hope you will continue to join me as I learn to love God’s way.

 

 

A Scripture for this School Year

So I just read a great blog by the wonderful Lysa T.  If you have kids headed off to school this year, you should read it too. Here is the link: http://lysaterkeurst.com/2014/08/before-they-go-to-school-have-this-conversation/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzEmail&utm_campaign=0&utm_content=303165

Anyway… I wanted to share with you the scripture that I will be praying for my kids this school year. And yes, my “kids” include my firstborn, Andrew, as well as all the other “kids” that have come in my life, our foster kids past and present, youth group kids, etc.

Galatians 1:10 says “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Dear God, I pray that You will dwell in the hearts of my kids this year. And that Your presence would be so evident that You are the only person they are trying to please. Help my kids to not fall into the people-pleasing trap. Because when that happens, they are no longer striving to be Your servant. Also, God, please help me, their mom, to strive for Your approval only. In Jesus Name, Amen.

What verse are you praying for your kiddos this year??

Love is (part 2)

I am trying to take a slow look at what God says love is. Last week I looked at how love is patient. Today I am going to look at being KIND.

Love is kind. To be kind means to be “indulgent, considerate or helpful.”

I like to think of myself as a helpful person. However when it comes to those I say I LOVE the most, sometimes I wish they would be more “kind” to me. I wish they were more considerate and helpful to ME. But that is selfish thinking and not loving at all. So I guess this week I am trying to be more considerate and less selfish. More helpful to those I love and being content with whatever help may be offered my way.

I want to leave you with a quote I found online:

Kindness. One of the greatest gifts that you can bestow upon another. If someone is in need, lend them a helping hand. Do not wait for a thank you. True kindness lies within the act of giving without expectation of something in return.

Joy Dare #9

Joy Dare 2013

So much has happened in the Jones family life in the past few weeks.  I have been counting gifts still but not had much time to post them. So here goes, my gift list from March 2nd through now…

#141- Getting along.  (It used to be taken for granted… NOT any more.)

#142- Meeting Grandparents

#143- Tears of joy at bedtime

#144- Sunshine in my window

#145- Time to workout

#146- Time to go to the grocery.   (AGAIN this used to be taken for granted… NOT any more.)

#147- A snow day with friends.

#148- “Dark can give birth to life, suffering can deliever grace, the ugly can be beautiful.  God transfigures everything for His glory.”  -Ann

#149- Long hugs

#150- Great teachers who want what is best!

#151- A plan for the afternoon!

#152- Ice cream Fridays!

#153- A boy anxiously waiting.

#154- Friends who care.

#155- Friends who pray

#156- Gifts that warm my body and my heart!

#157- Video game discussion going well.

#158- Tears resolved.

#159- Another year of love with the best man ever!!

#160- Mother/son time

#161- Cinnamon sugar pretzels from Sams.

#162- Christ comes into my mess.

#163- An afternoon run with my Scooter boy

#164- 58 degrees at 6:20 am!

#165- Birds singing

#166- Winning books and giving them away

#167- For God bringing 3rd grade math back to my brain

#168- School nurses!

#169- Easy traffic

#170- Great friends to help take care of our kiddos

#171- The “Village” that it takes

#172- Friends and family supporting during hard times

#173- Remembering a life that has forever changed mine.

#174- A great example of a mother-in-law

#175- The birth of Andrew

#176- 8 crazy years of life

#177- Catching up with old friends

#178- A change of birthday plans, but a WONDERFUL birthday party!

#179- An EXTRA day!

#180- Holding hands in the car

#181- Gift from Adam “I AM ENOUGH” necklace

#182- A quiet grocery shopping trip alone

#183- Singing the same song

#184- First time prayers at bedtime- sooo sweet!!

#185- Ready to go EARLY to school!

#186- Building relationships

#187- Early morning workouts that feel good.

#188- Health bar creamer and pumpkin spice latte coffee!

#189- Bike rides in the sunshine

#190- Belly laughs at Family Bible study time.

#191- Legotime without tears or fights

#192- My Girly-girl as my encouraging workout trainer!

So in the past 3 weeks we have become foster parents to 2 great kids (aka Girly-girl and Scooter-boy).  Adam and I celebrated our 11th anniversary.  We had a very dear Grandmother pass from this life to be with Jesus.  Andrew had his 8th birthday.  And many other random highs and low.  But there has BEEN lots of adjusting to being a family of 5 now.  More to come on that another day….

I Am Not a Door Mat

service

I saw this quote in Ann Voskamp’s blog earlier this week.  (http://www.aholyexperience.com/2013/01/5-things-you-need-to-know-before-you-begin-your-2nd-term-of-life/)  MAN, does it speak to my heart. 

Sometimes I feel like a doormat.  I feel like I allow those I love to walk on me because they know I will help them.  I think this attitude comes from the fact that the world thinks of serving as being a doormat– as allowing someone to walk on you or use you for dirty jobs.  And Satan would love to keep us from helping others and bringing joy to life. 

However, that is not how the Lord looks at it, nor is that the way He wants us to think about it.  By doing a quick word search in the Bible, you can see that serving is very important to God.  It is mentioned most in reference to choosing who you will serve, either God or Satan.  But the Bible also mentions serving those in our world. 

I believe if you choose to serve the Lord, then you also need to choose to serve those around you.  Your spouse. Your kids.  Your neighbors.  Your friends.  Your enemies.  Everyone.  You should choose to serve because it is an opportunity to bring joy into their life. 

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,

as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:10

So the next time you feel the “doormat” attitude coming out, remember first who you are serving God or Satan.  Then choose to serve out of love.  The love you have for that person.  And the grace that has been shown to you through Christ.  Don’t let Satan win and you miss the opportunity to bring joy to someone today. 

What is perfect?  Merriam Webster gives the following definitions- being entirely without fault or defect; satisfying all requirements; corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract; faithfully reproducing the original.

Perfection is something that our society pushes us to reach for– The perfect image.  The perfect home.  The perfect marraige with perfect children.  The perfect financial portfolio with the perfect retirement building up.  Sadly, some churches in America have given into this idea of perfection and have allowed their judgmental attitudes to give off the idea that you have to be perfect before you can come to Jesus.  So many people feel as though they can’t follow Christ’s command to believe in Him, repent and be baptized because they don’t have their life all together.  Or that there are areas in life that they need to fix before they can come to Jesus. 

Ya know what??  That just breaks my heart.  And I know it breaks the heart of God.  God does not expect people to fix themselves before coming to Him.  He wants a heart that believes in Him and the grace He gave through the death of His Son, Jesus. 

This week I have been looking to see what God’s Word says about accepting His grace.  I want to share with you a portion of Romans 5 (emphasis mine).

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us.  Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.  Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.  But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.  For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.  So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. (verses 1-11)

I don’t believe that God wants us to fix our lives before coming to Him.  I most certainly don’t think that God wants His Church to portray a message of perfection to the lost world.  I pray that my message to those searching for the Savior is never “go fix yourself” but always come to Jesus just as you are.

I believe the “come to Jesus” message also applies to those who are searching for God’s GREATER call in their life.  In Greater, Pastor Furtick says “Nobody does greater things for God because they’ve got it all together. And nobody is disqualified because they don’t.!”

Also Pastor Furtick shared “we miss out on what God wants to do through us because we listen to the voice of the Enemy telling us ‘You’ll never be good enough.  And God could never use someone with your weaknesses, hang-ups, secret struggles and dysfunctions.'”

Well I don’t know about you, but I am done listen to the voice of the Enemy.  I want to listen only to the voice of my Savior saying “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

http://youtu.be/PANiveIKVX0