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

Jesus showing love

This morning I was reading John 4 about the woman at the well and her encounter with Jesus.  This story is rather familiar to me however today, Jesus’ absolute, unconditional and extravagant love struck me like a 2×4.

When Jesus approached the woman, He was asking for water.  Then Jesus changed the conversation to the gift that He could give her.  Then Jesus changed the conversation yet again to her personal life and worship.  He was drilling down in her heart to the real issue at hand.  Yes, she would love to have some water so that she did not have to keep coming back to that well just for a drink.  But what she really NEEDED was the well in her heart to be filled.  Could this come from the men she had in her past or the man she currently had?  NO.  She had to go to Jesus to get her heart filled.

The woman’s words to the town also struck me, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” (John 4:29)

Because Jesus knew her intimately, she believed what He said.  And not only did she believe, but she called others to meet this precious Jesus who “told me everything I ever did” yet did not bring condemnation but only love.

I want to be like this woman- getting my heart’s fill from Jesus alone and telling others about His love and striving to love others like He loves me.  True and authentic.  Love that does not bring bitterness or condemnation.  Just absolute, unconditional and extravagant LOVE.

May I encourage you to read John 4 today and see what the Savior is saying to your heart.

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??

Looking Beyond Myself

It has been a long few days at the Jones house.  Maybe even a long few weeks.  In case you have missed it, it is WINTER time in Ohio.  And it has been crazy.  We have had lots of snow days and even “too-cold-to-go-to-school” days.  

And when this happens, I will admit, I get crazy with cabin fever.  Yes, I often get to go to my job on these snow days, but even being out of the house for 3 1/2 hours doesn’t cut being cooped up at home with three crazy kiddos who are always “bored”.  

This last round of winter weather brought ice and with ice usually comes downed power lines and very cold houses.  I will let you in on a little Jones family secret– I don’t like being cold in my own home very well.  I have witnesses who could tell some great stories about that, but we will hold on to them for another day…

So yesterday I woke up super thankful that our home was one of the lucky ones who did not lose power through the night.  But I also woke up cranky because I have had a nasty cold for three days.  So I stayed in my nice warm home and worked on Blizzard Bags with my children for most of the day, while I watched on Facebook about all my friends whose homes were struggling to keep power.  

Yes, I did the right thing and offered that they come over.  No one took me up on that… but who would want to do with nasty cold germs infesting my home.  I also offered that some go to our church to get warm there.  But all in all I stayed focused on the fact that I had a cold and I was super cranky.  Doesn’t sound very Jesus-like, does it?

This morning on my drive around the block to work I saw this… 

Image

In this moment I realized how truly blessed and thankful I SHOULD have been yesterday.  This little accident is right behind my home.  And yes, there is a power line that is ALMOST down.  But praise Jesus that it isn’t.  (I can’t even imagine how bad my attitude would have been if I would have been COLD with my COLD.)

But that brings me to what Jesus spoke to my heart this morning… “Grace, sometimes you can’t look beyond myself.”  Sometimes I just stay so focused on my needs.  Like yesterday, I really needed to get rid of this cold because I am too busy to be sick.  And I really needed my children to be quiet little angels because I had a super horrible headache.  And I needed them to finish their Blizzard Bag without much help from me.  And I really needed my husband to get home so I could go to bed…   When really, all these things that I thought I NEEDED are not what wanted me to be focused on.  

He wants me focusing on His Kingdom and what I can do to help further it.  I have kingdom work to do right here in my home— raising three children that God has blessed me with, helping them work on school projects with a good attitude and with minimal unglued momma moments, honoring my husband and doing things to help him when he is out at work, encouraging friends and helping neighbors.  

This week the verse I am working on for #TheJesusProject is pretty simple and it speaks directly to my cranky attitude from yesterday: Do whatever He tells you.  John 2:5

So I guess the next time that there are effects of WINTER all around me, I need to look beyond ME and see God’s Kingdom and what He is telling me to do.  I hope you will do the same- eyes wide open, palms turned up, ready to work further God’s cause.  

 

 

(for more information on #TheJesusProject, go to Ann Voskamp’s website.)