They upped all of my meds today and the Dr. told me to up my salt intake since my blood pressure is so low. Also, I go back in six weeks and will probably have to wear a heart monitor fun fun. My in laws came in and took care of Morgan and Rods dad took me to the hospital. I praise God for the help. My little punkin is with her mimi and hop (pop) tonight and I am so thankful because I need the rest. Please keep praying for me as you think about me. It means so much!!! Pray that I will get back to normal and just be able to function. Love jenny
Please pray for me i am very sick...it is heart related. pray that i sleep well tonight and that my dr appointment goes well tomorrow.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Posted by jennyhope at 8:44 PM
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Posted by jennyhope at 11:35 PM
Morgan and Pop (he always says he is just resting his eyes but he is really asleep ;)...)
MiMi and Pop (everyone is forever trying to get the child down to sleep...to no avail)
Good Friday...after church
Morgan taking after her mom (being silly) at her "skool-day" program
Hunting for eggs
So, Rod bought a card reader tonight for my camera...I am back in business! I only have about 700 pictures to share! YAY!
Posted by jennyhope at 12:49 AM
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
So today was one of those days if you know what I mean. I woke up first thing and sensed the Lord urging me to just get on my face. As I was there prostrate before the Lord, I know the Holy Spirit was just interceding for me because I didn't quite know what to say other than "help". Not because anything is horribly wrong, but because I have had a pretty frustrating week and I am hungry for some time by myself with Jesus. Rod began to wake Morgan up and of course I threatened him...because I really needed time with the Lord and the Lord alone...not the Lord and Morgan. I love her so, I do. It just seems that she is ALWAYS up the second I get up and I am about to pass out before the child goes to bed. She is sitting next to me eat goldfish right now...ahhh...screaming bye Larry Boy (Veggie Tales).
Let me just tell you, my child and I went to the park today and yesterday and this time she got really careless and ran until she came one inch from falling into the little lake, and all I could think about was how she was getting dirty and how I was about to fall into this pond-scum lake to go after her...thank you Lord that didn't happen. She then attacks the ducks (once again) and they hiss at her and we both screamed and ran. We feed them bread, and Morgan decided to pick it up and eat some to (SICK). I know Morgan has a busy angel after her from all of the ways we could potentially have some crazy accidents...she is a little miracle. (Matthew 18: 10"See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.) She also learned what most children learn: how to slide down steep embankments while your mother tries to run after you.
My mouth has been K-I-L-L-I-N-G me today, thus adding to my irritation. I had a crown come off and then my tooth got infected so now due to several reasons, my tooth will have to be extracted. So, the implants I mentioned earlier is a new tooth eventually. I did not realize until I was talking to my MIL that getting a tooth implant was going to be a really painful thing. That must be why the dentist had a let's try to break it to her gently face when he told me the news of some cell stuff eating the bone or some kind of medical language that I should know.
Morgan was in rare form today and I truly felt like I was a hamster running on a wheel. We went in Lifeway and the child screamed Veggie Tales at the top of her lungs as all of the shoppers looked at us as if they had never been around a two year old. Morgan had a rough day and I had to explain to her that she was not getting any Veggie Tales and she had been disobedient all day and was not going to be rewarded for bad behavior. I then went on to explain to her that the Lord doesn't bless mommies disobedience because He loves her.
We met up with my friend Abby and she was so sweet and gave Morgan a sweet little outfit and the cutest flip flops (I wish gymboree made them in my size). She is a kindergarten teacher and loves my baby. I like to be around people who share my love for Morgan. She also brought little old me some of the cutest clothes ever. I felt so blessed and was so thankful. She also gave her a huge tub of books and games. I will have so much fun re-living my childhood with hi ho cherry- o. No but really the coolest thing is that Morgan and I were in a consignment shop a few weeks ago and she really wanted this Leap Frog thing and I told her we were going to have to wait on that. Anyway, Abby gave her one for free today. Coincidence...I think not! The Lord doesn't have to do that sort of stuff, but I am going to go ahead and praise Him for being so in to the details! I won't bore you any more as my laptop is about to die anyway. I just won't be sleeping with my tooth and I am not being dramatic!
ps ROD did not snore last night...I even got scared and checked to make sure he was alive since he wasn't snoring.
Posted by jennyhope at 11:59 PM
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Morgan performed her own concert today with pots and pans that she drug out from the cabinets. This is a very short version but it cracked Rod and I up so bad that she took a bow in all her seriousness after her performance. LOL You may need to go push pause on my music player to stop the music so you can hear the video.
Posted by jennyhope at 10:15 PM
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
FIVE YEARS of LISTENING TO THE MAN SNORE. Well, almost five years but it seems like an infinity. It is IMPOSSIBLE for me to stay in the Spirit or have peace with this obnoxious loudness going on (I can't even hear the still small voice of the Holy Spirit over the noise). Last night, I literally almost freaked out because every time I would start to go to sleep a LOUD snore would burst forth (I went to bed at almost 2 am). Then, almost as if Morgan and Rod were plotting against me...she snores...then he snores...and the dance goes on. I really think their snoring is why I am so tired each day. There is no where I can go to get away from it. Here is my version based on a little bit of Psalm 139. And No, I am not adding or taking from the Word of God...
Where can I go from your snoring?
Where can I flee from your instrumental nasal passage sounds?
If I go up to the heavens, I can still hear you;
if I make my bed in the depths, still you are there pestering me and irritating my spirit as you sleep so sound.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your snoring will agitate me,
with your right hand you better defend yourself because I will hit you fast to try to make it stop. Anything for a moment of quiet.
If I say, "Surely the earplugs will hide me from the pestilence
and the noise of the fan become sound around me to drown you out,"
even the earplugs will not take away the sound of you;
the noise from the fan will not give me rest before the day,
for snoring is as breathing to you.
Oh wretched woman that I am who will free me from my lack of sleep? Please take this thorn from my flesh...not my will but yours be done. If it is not Your will please send me some grace in the form of sleeping pills to knock me out.
If I die before I awake...it was because the snoring was more than I could take.
And the question that is to deep for me to fathom: How can one such loud sound come from one man? It is more than I can take.
Posted by jennyhope at 11:43 PM
Monday, March 24, 2008
I found this article by Kyle Butt while I was researching The Rose of Sharon. Sorry for not being very present in blog land lately. I have been busy with a lot of things. I love you all and I hope you learn something new with this article! I also have some really cool things to share about later.
JESUS—ROSE OF SHARON
The song leader stands before the congregation and announces the number of the next hymn. As you turn the pages, you quickly realize that you know the song—"Jesus, Rose of Sharon." But if you are anything like most of the people singing, truth be told, you do not know what the term "Rose of Sharon" means. So, what does it mean?
This may come as a shock, but the phrase is used only once in the entire Bible, and it does not refer to Jesus. In Song of Solomon 2:1, Solomon’s wife describes herself as the "rose of Sharon." From her description, we can see that it is a complimentary term that expresses beauty.
The word Sharon (also spelled Saron) means a level place or plain, and is found in numerous verses in the Bible, including Acts 9:35 and 1 Chronicles 27:29. In God’s Word, the term is used to describe one of the largest plains in all of the land of Palestine. You can locate this valley by looking just north of the city of Joppa on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
From what we know about the place, the Sharon valley was a fertile plain that was home to many beautiful flowers. Isaiah 35:2 lists Sharon in a context discussing blooming plants and describes the valley as "excellent." Sharon was renowned for its majesty and beauty, but what about its "rose?"
A true rose, like the one sweethearts exchange on Valentine’s day, is probably not what the Bible calls the "rose of Sharon," since these flowers are very uncommon in Palestine. In fact, although no one can say for certain which flower is the actual "rose of Sharon," many scholars think the best guess is the cistus (also known as the rock-rose). The cistus blooms in various parts of the land of Palestine, and in ancient times was known for its soothing aroma and pain-relieving qualities.
No one knows for sure when or why the term "rose of Sharon" was given to Jesus. But some reasons do make good sense. Christ’s healing powers and pain-relieving actions were similar to certain traits of the rock-rose. Is it any wonder that the "Great Physician," Who came to physically heal the sick and spiritually take away the plague of sin from the world, should be given the name of a flower known for its sweet aroma and pain-relieving qualities?
Posted by jennyhope at 4:44 PM
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Rod, Morgan, and I went out to my parents house tonight. My dad wanted to take Morgan to the fair that was in town. I am not sure who liked going more, Rod or Morgan. Morgan has my personality in so many ways and in other ways she is just like Rod. Besides my trips to the Thrift Store, the fair is like going back in time. The rides seem very unsafe and etc. I DO NOT DO amusement park rides or fair rides. My heart literally can not take it. Morgan seriously was the kid in the candy store tonight. She was so overwhelmed and she truly felt like she should be allowed to ride anything. The first ride she got on was a kiddie ride, and her first mini roller coaster ever. My niece was riding with her and I explained how I really needed her to watch Morgan on the ride. Rod thought it would be fine for her to ride the kid rides and plenty of other kids Morgans age were doing just that. She starts out fine and then she gets brave. The child has no fear. She stood up three different times and even held her hands in the air as she went around. She seriously almost fell out of the roller coaster and I stood there helpless and panicked. Every person watching their kid gasped as they saw Morgan almost fall off. Even Rod got nervous and what did I do? I screamed! We all began to scream for my niece to hold on to her. It was more than I could take. I was so shaken up and I even cried at the thought of what could have happened to her while she was having the time of her little life. If it were up to me we would have left the place after that but Rod let her ride more rides. Of course after that episode I talked to each person operating the rides and asked them to stop the ride immediately if they saw the cutest little girl with pig-tails, who is only two years old, start to come out of her seat.
Morgan needs some fear in her to keep her from doing what she did tonight. She needs boundaries and so do you and I. I can't imagine how it must break the Lord's heart when He sees us wandering down paths that could cause us great pain and hurt us badly. How all of heaven must gasp when we leave our Fathers side to chase after this world. I pray that He would have our whole hearts and that we would see the boundaries He puts up for us as good and wise and that our fear and reverence for Him would keep us from sin. I praise God tonight that my sweet girl is okay.
20 Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning." (emphasis mine)
Posted by jennyhope at 1:07 AM
Friday, March 21, 2008
3 The LORD has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
I already realize when writing this that it may be TMI (to much information)...but here goes.
I was working on something this afternoon in the den and the doorbell rang. I wasn't sure who it was and I still had my pj's on, but I answered it anyway. It was the mail lady. We caught up for a while and I apologized for what a mess I was. She had a package for me and I was so not expecting anything. I tried to jog my mind and it dawned on me that the other day I was surfing on the Proctor and Gamble website for diaper coupons. I came across their free sample for the month which happened to be Always pa*ty liners. Why not I said to myself...they are free? So I signed up for my free sample. Someone might need them when they come to my house or something. As I held the box I noticed that it was heavy. Man, I can't believe how heavy this box is for such a light sample...and they shipped it through Amazon...that's strange. I went in the kitchen and opened the box which contained three parenting books...one of which I had really wanted but I had planned on borrowing, "Shepherding a Child's Heart". Then, in my next air headed moment I thought...I must have won a prize or something and I didn't know it. No! These books were from my friend Sherry. It was so sweet of her and she wouldn't even want anyone to know that they were from her but I saw her address at the top. The funny thing is that I went to Lifeway to buy it after my OB/GYN insisted that I read it. I thought that if he said it I really needed to go get it. Since I am always looking for the best price I thought Lifeway was kind of high on it and that I should wait and see if I could borrow one (I am also a huge nerd and love to read and my bookshelves were a bit too full even after getting rid of all the ones I no longer wanted to keep). I seriously heard in my Spirit the call to wait on the Lord while I was standing in Lifeway (I even told Rod that I was just going to wait and get it). I was so humbled today when I opened that package and saw these books and thought about how the Lord really does care about the little desires of our hearts. The Lord wanted me to have these books and He sent them to me through a friend (who is a very busy mom of 3 and she took the time and resources to be used of God). I began to think about all of the times I rush out to meet a need that maybe the Lord wants to meet for me. He wants me to have wisdom in my parenting, especially when I feel like such and idiot sometimes and wonder if I am doing OK. And He was giving me some resources to help me along. Thank You Lord...You truly are Jehovah Jireh, my provider.
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
Posted by jennyhope at 12:24 AM
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
As I have said in the past I am all about a good deal. Morgan and I sometimes go to the thrift store near us which is almost like going back in time. I feel like we are in the movie Napoleon Dynamite
when we venture there (which is seriously one I could watch over and over). We once lost the charger to Morg's power wheels and guess what! I found one at the thrift store...score!
Today, I was on a mission to find a computer monitor. I have a laptop and we had two monitors go out on our server computer and I was not about to invest in another one. I found one that matched my computer for $9.95. Rod was very proud of my resourceful skillz because now we no longer have to take turns with my laptop. I did see a girl wearing a mask in the toy section... aw I thought I feel bad she must have something wrong with her...but then I noticed she wasn't wearing it in other parts of the store. She must have wanted protection from the possible lice infested stuffed animals or something. I still can't seem to get it through to Morgan as to why we will not be buying stuffed animals at the thrift store.
I even found a cute little skirt for Morgan that was 99 cents. I said Morgan do you like this and to my total shock she said, "It's cute momma...I'll get it". LOL because she pulled that out of nowhere. She already has a taste for clothes and shoes just like me.
I was browsing around and this woman starts to look at me...sizing me up and all. Oh no! I hate this I know what she is about to do...here we go (I think all of this in my head). She is about to do what so many have done to me in retail, she is going to pull me into a sizing issue.
She proceeds with Um, what size do you wear about a seven? Thanks lady. No offense to anyone but I am short so if I wore that (I am not knocking on anyone who does) but if I did I would be very chunky. I then proceed to tell her my size since she asked. I spent the next...I kid you not...fifteen minutes helping her try to figure out her pregnant friends size. The stuff she was picking out was pretty bad...there was a reason why someone gave it up! It was sweet of her though. Inside I felt bad for the pregnant co-worker that was getting these little delights because of course she would have to wear them to work since this sweet lady went to the trouble. She didn't ask my fashion opinion, only sizes, so I just stuck with it until Morgan had enough. But please don't pull anyone into your sizing issues...LOL! It is like asking someone if they are pregnant when they are not.
When we left we saw Jesus night lights and I thought that was just wrong and I really did laugh at the strange marketing lengths that people go to in trying to market Jesus (as if). No offense if you have the Jesus night light...but that wasn't my Jesus on the night light. He looks so weak. Maybe the nightlight business should just stick to other things.
Posted by jennyhope at 11:52 PM
20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the LORD my God for his holy hill- 21 while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice.
A couple of weeks ago as we closed out our "Stepping Up" study, my friend told us about a guy named Daniel who had tried to commit suicide. We all stopped immediately and prayed for him. This was one prayer request that could not wait. As I petitioned the Throne room of grace, my heart broke in prayer and I actually cried. I cried because I remember the feeling of hopelessness before I started walking with the Lord. I cried because of the grace that the Lord has had on my life. Anyway, as we joined in prayer I prayed that Daniel would turn to Christ and that he would have hope. I prayed that his life would honor God like our Daniel in the word.
So, yesterday my friend comes to bible study and says she has a praise. That very night that we prayed, Daniel had accepted Christ. Praise God! She told us the whole story and we all had chills. Sometimes God acts swiftly and sometimes we have to wait. I just love the above verse in Daniel because while Daniel was praying the Lord sent the angel Gabriel. Just went I start to get frustrated and wonder if God hears me or if He is going to act He blows me away with a story like Daniel coming to Christ.
1 John 5:14
14This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
Posted by jennyhope at 6:35 PM
Romans 12:13 Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Bible study went well tonight (I hope). I just have to share something that was so funny yet serious to us girls. One of the girls in my group is on a mission trip in another part of the world (wink, wink) and when we gathered tonight I asked my friend Virginia if she had heard from our girl. She said yes and then I proceeded to ask her something that was very important to our friend...did her flat iron work??. I then hold my breath and wait. Yes, we think so. My friend, like me has to get her daily portion of hair mercies with the gracious gift of Chi. We really were born for such a time as this! We discussed it before she left and she told me that she may get it thermally straightened while she was over there since she heard it was cheaper if the power adapter didn't work with her Chi. Smart girl! Hey, a girl can look good and serve the Lord to.
Back to the point of my post. I have not covered much of my childhood on my blog for many reasons, one being that I have forgiven the things that have happened to me and I don't want to dishonor anyone. I just really feel led to share a quick story. I have been reading "The New Dare to Discipline" by Dr. James Dobson and it brought back some vivid memories for me tonight. I have shared that my biological dad was never in the picture past the age of three and I was adopted by my moms second husband at the age of seven. Anyway, I had to grow up very fast and I also endured abuse for most of my childhood and on into my adult years. I took on a very parental role and I never wanted to be a burden to my family. I wouldn't ask for much of anything as the financial pressures were great I am sure with five kids. Sometimes, I went to school without lunch and would sit, embarrassed while the other kids ate. I didn't have much of a social life either, as far as spend the night parties, because I wet the bed for years as a child.
I remember my school years being pretty tough. I worked hard a made good grades. I wanted to please my parents in any way that I could. I can still remember my third grade year like it was yesterday. My teacher didn't like me...I remember that much. Anyway, each day we had snack time and each day I had no snack. There was a sweet girl named Tiffany that would give me half of her honey bun every day. I know I must have seemed like a beggar but I can still hear the growl of my stomach as everyone pulled out their snacks...everyone but me. Then all through junior high and high school my childhood friend would share her peanut butter and jelly sandwich and pretzels with me. That food never tasted better. Her mom even started making me a little lunch that she brought for me to school. My first job was at K-Mart and I worked almost a full work week (30 something hours), went to school, and ran cross-country and track. I worked so hard to pay for my own car and I can remember going most of the day without eating and then scraping up enough money for me to buy a fountain drink and maybe some candy (back when gas was .99 cents a gallon and I thought that was expensive). I am going to encourage Morgan when she starts school to look for other kids who may be in need and for her to reach out and share in a tangible way (maybe you can talk to your kids about seeing the needs around them as well). She loves honey buns (and every time I open one for her and smell that smell I think back to Tiffany sharing her portion with me). It is about the only thing she will eat for breakfast. We were in the store yesterday and she said "honey bun momma...I'll get it" (translation: please put them in the basket). Maybe she can be the girl sharing her honey bun at snack time with someone less fortunate.
I know as a mom it is easy to get caught up and exhausted. Sometimes you may feel like giving a child a ride or a place to spend the night one night is an inconvenience but maybe you can start to see some of these things as ministry, no matter how mundane or inconvenient it feels at the time. You just never know what is going on in someones home and how desperate they may be for the love of Christ. So often we want to be "great" for the Lord, and we miss the ministry that He has for us in seeking a name for ourselves, or something that we deem more noble.
42And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."
Posted by jennyhope at 12:00 AM
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
The Cross of Christ--By Pastor James MacDonaldwww.walkintheword.com
"For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:21
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23
The cross of Jesus Christ is the signature symbol of the central event in the history of civilization. Yet, today we depict the cross as common. Jewelers pound it into all sorts of finery so we can staple crosses to our ears and wear them around our necks. Merchandisers manufacture this symbol of unlimited atonement into fuzzy things for our rearview mirrors or decorations for our gardens. From teacups to T-shirts, people have used the cross to corner the market on crassness. Department stores hawk chocolate-covered crosses for Holy Week. Baseball players and businessmen cross themselves before a big moment. The cross itself has become big business, but it was never intended to be some lucky trinket. This is profanity in the truest sense. Is it any surprise we have lost the wonder of what happened on Calvary?
The resurrection of Christ was the event that accomplished salvation and verified Christ's victory over death, but it was the cross of Jesus Christ that showed us the grace of God. Everything that God wants us to know about Himself comes together in those crossbeams.
Our entire purpose in life is to elevate the Cross. Think on Jesus Christ there. In your mind's eye, picture Him stretched out against the sky. What's He doing up there? Answer: He's subbing for you and me. He's taking God's wrath for your sin. He's satisfying the just demands of a holy God. He's paying the price that God's holiness requires so that you and I can be forgiven. In the place where our blood should have stained the ground, Jesus hung as our substitute.
You can't understand the Gospel until you understand this idea of substitution. Jesus’ death was in the place of every person who has ever lived. I am in that line. You are too. Each of us deserves to die in payment for our own sin, but Jesus stepped in and took that penalty for each of us.
Posted by jennyhope at 10:21 AM
Another one from Greg Laurie
Also if you read this today, please say a prayer for me as I prepare for bible study tonight.
The Dangerous Question
|"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."|
|— 1 Corinthians 10:31|
What does it mean to test God? It is the mentality that asks the question, "As a Christian, how much can I get away with and still be saved? How far can I go and still be a child of God?" In other words, "How far to the edge can I get without falling off?" It is a dangerous question to ask.
The church at Corinth had developed a similar problem. It was located in the midst of a metropolitan city, with visitors coming from all around the world. The city of Corinth was entrenched in sin. The problem with the believers there was that they thought they could commit certain sins and it would be acceptable to God.
Paul had to set the record straight. He wrote to the Corinthian believers, "All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify" (1 Corinthians 10:23).
Let's not push the limits and see how much we can get away with as believers. Let's go the other direction. We should be asking, "How much more can I know this One who died for me and forgave me and has done so much on my behalf? How can I become more like Him? How can I make an impact in my world for Him?"
Let's not take for granted all that God has done for us in our lives. May we never see how far we can go and be guilty of testing the Lord. Rather, let's stay as close to Him as we possibly can.
Posted by jennyhope at 10:15 AM
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Jonah 2:8 "Those who cling to worthless idols
forfeit the grace that could be theirs.
I came across these verses years ago and began to turn them into prayers:
12 Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
4 "Show me, O LORD, my life's end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting is my life.
5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Each man's life is but a breath.
God has really honored this prayer and He constantly reminds me that I need to live in the light of eternity with my heart set on pilgrimage to my heavenly Jerusalem (I am not saying I live that way every second...but I want to). I used to drive down a long road each day and pass a cemetery and it was a constant reminder to me that if the Lord tarries I to will die someday and I want my life to have mattered. It truly does comfort me to know that this life is not as good as it gets...Praise You Lord.
I have been reading Jonah a lot lately and the Lord has been posing a question to me through that profound book in His word. Simply: Am I running from Him?
If I could throw a few things out there I would say that keep us from fulfilling our purpose in Christ here would be my short list:
1. Refusal to deal with sin in the mirror and to repent of that sin.
2. Idols in our lives. The things we cling to that we think will bring us satisfaction...but it is only temporary.
4. A refusal to accept Gods forgiveness and go on with Him after we have truly repented. If we don't go on with Him we will live a life of misery buying into the lie that we have blown it past God's ability to pour out His grace and redeem our lives and still deem us useful (which is the same as unbelief).
5. Allowing the cares and burdens of this world to choke out the Word in our life.
6. More time focusing on this world system instead of holding Gods word in highest esteem. The lusts of the flesh and the deceitfulness of riches.
7. We lose purpose when we compare ourselves to others 2 Cor 10:12.
8. Immorality, living to please "self", jealousy and envy.
10. The biggest of all for me: Not setting my affections on God--Having a divided heart.
I love the book of Jonah because of the display of the Awesomeness of Almighty God. The word of the Lord comes to Jonah that he is to go and preach against Nineveh and he decides that he for one is not going to obey so what does he do:
3 But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.
As if I want to shout as I read it...As if we can hide from the Lord (see Psalm 139:7-9)
In my opinion Jonah was a brat. He worshiped God but he was not about to go and preach to Nineveh and have God show them mercy. He kind of reminds me of the other brother in the story of the prodigal son. He may have had the attitude of No way Lord, I am not going to preach repentance to them when they have sinned so greatly and I have kept your way. That may have been his self-righteous attitude. He really didn't get that no matter the degree of sins that we are all sinners before a pure, perfect, and holy God.
This brings me to another point. Do we limit God's grace on other peoples lives? I was so burdened lately as I have read other Christians blogs about the recent governor who took a major fall. With their words they were throwing their own stones. I have done the same before, so I can't claim innocence...I have certainly been judgmental. I have also been forgiven of much so as I get a little older I realize more and more the grace on my own life and how I could be in their shoes apart from Christ. I am not without sin and I am not about to limit God's grace on their lives. When I first heard about the whole deal...my heart did not rejoice at this mans fall or thrive on some juicy gossip. My heart broke for his family, and for the state of his own heart, and even for the prostitute involved. Why? Because they are lost. When we look at everything with human eyes and not spiritual eyes of course we are going to pick up our stones to cast. The bible is very clear to that pride comes before the fall (1 Corinthians 10:12So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!). We are all capable of any manner of sin apart from Christ. And as Christians we all fall in many ways. I am not agreeing with this mans sin but I am very scared to set myself up as Judge when God is the Judge and I pray that He has mercy on that whole family.
When I think about even the prostitute involved my mind can't help but think about what kind of life she had (and the many more like them)? What made her turn to prostitution? How many pieces of her heart had she given away so cheaply? Hear me again....I do not agree with the wrong doing but my heart is grieved for all of them that they do not know the Lord Jesus.
So when God calls us to go to others with love and grace and share the gospel of Christ and that even the vilest of sinners can turn from their sin and turn to God...will we go or will we decide that they can't be forgiven? Regardless of our own judgments God will have mercy on whom He will have mercy (Romans 9:15-17). I would like to suggest that you and I would humble ourselves quickly when we begin to spout out judgment on others. We are waving a red flag to the enemy with our pride when we think others are beneath us and setting our own self up for a pitfall when we think that we can't fall. It is only by the cross that you and I stand and are cleansed by grace alone. We deserve wrath and yet because of the blood we are washed and cleansed with His mercy. God will right every wrong and He may even use a human court to show justice on earth but we are just wise to trust Him to be God and pray for mercy on others. His kindness leads to repentance. It is not His will that anyone should perish yet we in our flesh at times don't want others to be forgiven. You can disagree with me but I think it to be true just like Jonah not wanting to go and preach to Nineveh.
Jesus offered forgiveness to the prostitute, the adulterer, the tax collector, the Pharisee, the prodigal. His heart will always be that people would turn from their sins and turn to God. Yet many won't turn to Him and they will face consequences in His hands of being eternally separated from God and that should make us sick as believers in Christ that we would not care about others souls. That should be a huge wake up call to us that our hearts are growing cold and that we don't even have a clue of the grace on our own life and the debt that was paid for us.
part two to come and I didn't even make it off the first couple of verses oops!
Posted by jennyhope at 11:35 PM
I am so not going to get to go the the Siesta Fiesta (Beth Moore) in San Antonio Texas like I had so longed for. I am so sad about it!!!
Anyway, if you need to buy a ticket to the event please contact me.
Go to her schedule HERE for more info.
Here are the dates and the ticket is $50.
August 22-23,2008Living Proof Live - San Antonio, TX - TBA
Contact: LifeWay Events, 1-800-254-2022,
Click here for more info
Posted by jennyhope at 12:13 AM
Friday, March 14, 2008
For years now it has been my passion that my brothers and sisters in Christ would be in the word daily. So many buy into the lie that they have sinned too much to pick up His word and have fellowship with Him. That is junk. He wants us to return to Him. The bible says over and over to turn from your sins and turn to God. When we turn from something we are going to turn to something or someone. When you turn to Christ you will see His forgiveness, holiness, mercy, unfailing love and who He is from the bible. However, the longer you stay away from truth the deeper the hole you will dig and the more lies you will buy in to.
I loved this devo this morning by Greg Laurie:
Friday, March 14, 2008
What's on Your Mind?
|" 'So commit yourselves completely to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands as a reminder, and wear them on your forehead. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again.' "|
|— Deuteronomy 11:18?19|
People sometimes ask me to sign their Bibles, which is not something I like to do, because I didn't write it. But when someone insists, I usually write this inscription in his or her Bible: "Sin will keep you from this book and this book will keep you from sin."
I have found that sin will always keep you away from the Bible, because the devil wants to keep you out of God's Word. He doesn't care if you read magazines. He doesn't care if you watch television. He doesn't care if you read the latest novel on the bestseller list. He doesn't care if you watch movies. But the minute you pick up the Bible and crack it open, you had better believe that he will try to distract you with everything he has. He doesn't want you to read it.
On the other hand, if you follow what the Bible teaches, it will keep you from sin. That is why we need to know the Bible. That is why we need to study it. While it is a great idea to carry a Bible in your briefcase, pocket, or purse, the best place to carry it is in your heart. Know it well. Fill the memory banks God has given you with Scripture, because the devil will attack you in the realm of your mind. The best defense is a mind that is filled with God's Word.
Posted by jennyhope at 10:22 AM
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I found this blog the Pitter Patter Boutique through Bee @ Willblogforshoes. She is having a give-away so go show her some blog love.
Posted by jennyhope at 11:12 PM
Posted by jennyhope at 6:42 PM
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I just began to gather up the trash and make a midnight run to put the trashcan on the street. I chickened out and got scared to take it in the dark (I can't wait for the day where there will be no more darkness...something about it just scares me). Hopefully, Rod will get it before the guy comes in the morning. I was putting a new trash bag in the trashcan and I noticed something broken in the bottom of the can (which means someone broke it and didn't even tell me ;)...must have been the man child). So, I picked up the pieces and read the following verse on a little plaque my sister had given me:
Exodus 15:2 The LORD is my strength and my song;
It was shattered. No one told me. And no one tells us (God's word does) that the shattered plaque can represent in so many of our lives what the enemy has come to do:
10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
The enemy comes to rob us, to destroy us, and try to kill us. God means for us to have life to the full in Him. And here is the part that is on my heart for tonight. Morgan had her spring program at our church tonight for preschool. I am quite the enthusiast when it comes to that child! I was so proud and so excited and filled with joy to see my baby get up and sing with hundreds of other kids. My eyes however selfishly were focused on her alone. I took great delight in seeing the tenderness of God in my sweet baby. There was one time she even sang so loud (we go to a big church) that we could hear her in our seats (LOL). These times are sweet and tiring and yet a little scary. I have no idea how things will turn out and I want to raise her in the ways of the Lord yet she is a human being and there will come a time when she will have choices to make and roads to take (please no one send me Proverbs 22:6...I get it). Ultimately, I will have to continually entrust her to the Lord.
It is so easy for me to already get under a load of condemnation (Romans 8:1) in raising Morgan and she is not even three. I wonder some times am I a good mom, am I showing her Christ, is there hypocrisy in me, am I disciplining her like I should, am I feeding her the right foods, teaching her enough, does she know how much I love her? And the list goes on. She was getting on a good sleep pattern and the time change is throwing her off. She is fading at 12:19 am and I silently think to myself bad mom...your child isn't on a good sleep schedule. I can get under a load of condemnation in a minute and start beating myself up over the most ridiculous things. I ask Rod all of the time if he thinks I am a good mom. He did tell me last night that he was going to call DHR (department of human resources) if I gave her any more lemons in her water because it would rot her tooth enamel...a bit harsh in my opinion but okay. I don't have time to go into everything but I will say that my hearts desire is to honor God in raising my child. Because I had a tough childhood, I don't want her to go through so many things that I did.
I have a family member that has strayed for some time now. If you look into her childhood you will see ample reasons as to why she went down some of the paths she did. Feeling unloved and rejected as a child and adult she began looking for love and acceptance and found it in a cheap form that has been very costly to her soul. She has made so many bad choices and she is reaping consequences from them even now. If she would but hearken to the Lords voice and not harden her heart she could spare herself even more pain. However, she continues to spiral. Even though she has had a tough past she has to decide if she is going to strike the pose of a victim for the rest of her days or if she wants to turn to God and let Him heal her and trust Him to help her out of the ditch. One thing I have learned for sure is that any work that is good in my life has been a work of the Holy Spirit. I have tried to fix things in my own efforts and only the Lord can bring lasting change and deliverance in my life.
Back to the joy part from the beginning. I went through a season where I felt like I was the prisoner in iron chains, sitting in darkness. I am sure some of it was a result of sin, but some of it was circumstance and oppression. I have known what it means to taste and see that the Lord is good and to know the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit. Once you know that it is awful to feel like you have lost your strength and your song (Ex 15:2).
I have watched first hand the mother of this girl that has strayed live for YEARS in condemnation and despair over this prodigal child. I have seen it control her every thought and conversation. I have seen it eat at her and steal her joy. I have also seen her live in denial over the way she treated her child. Instead of her owning up to how things went down, she wants to live like she was a perfect mother to this child and pretend that she has nothing to do with any of the outcome. She doesn't want to bare any of the responsibility so she tries to lie to herself and make herself believe that she was a wonderful and perfect mother. Trust me when I say this. And here is what I have told her (the mom) many times...the daughter is now an adult, she is responsible for her own choices at this point. She knows the truth. And you are not responsible for the decisions that she does or does not make.
Because all of this is so close to home for me I can say that if the mom would just confess any wrong doing on her part to the Lord, seek His filling, apologize to the daughter, and bathe herself in the word of God, that she would get out from under that load of condemnation that she is bearing. It doesn't change what is done but her (the mom) living in denial and condemnation for the rest of her life only steals her joy and her song.
So this may be for one person reading this. There are plenty of examples of dysfunctional families in Genesis. People who were true lovers of God and their children rebelled. You may be thinking Jenny you are not in my shoes, your child is 2 and you are right I am not. I do know that God has come and died on a cruel cross and taken up residence in you by the gift of the Holy Spirit if you are in Christ and He does not mean for you to be ineffective and loaded down with guilt and condemnation. I think we can use this as a tool to punish ourselves instead of believing that God bore ours sins on a tree that we might walk in forgiveness.
If your child had gone astray go to the Lord with boldness and confess your own sins and ask God to give you the humility to apologize for anything that you may have done that has harmed your child along the way. Then, arm yourself with Gods word so that when the enemy comes to speak lies and condemnation over you, you can do battle with the sword of the spirit. Also, do not seek to take responsibility for another human beings poor choices. Especially if they are not under your roof and you have no control over them financially. I am no counselor, but if you are supporting them you do have control over what they do at your house, with your money, with your car, and etc.
My point is...we all will fail in parenting and in many other ways and we desperately need the filling of the Holy Spirit to live with joy and victory. So, if you have failed in the past bring it before the Lord and then go on with Him. Do not let the enemy have power over you with what you can not go back and change. And continue in prayer for whoever has strayed. Regardless of how you feel about your situation, with God all things are possible. He is bigger than your failures and He can restore and mend. Continue to be fervent in prayer and take your thoughts captive. When you are tempted to focus on whatever awful situation you are in, turn your focus to God's word. Something Rod told me a long time ago when I was struggling to take my thoughts captive is this...I told him that whenever I tried not to think about something I focused on not thinking about it and I thought about it all the more. He said Jenny think about something else don't think about not thinking about what you are trying to not think about. Tongue twister. To me that is the very essence of setting our minds on things above...which means setting our hearts and minds on His word--deliberately. As you seek to walk in truth and be filled with the Spirit you will have your joy and you will be able to consider your trials pure joy because you know that God will bring you forth as gold. You don't have to agree with me but I have found this really helpful in my own life. Also, if you have never read Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend....I read it ten years ago and it really helped me set clear boundaries with the people in my life that I let control me. We have got to be controlled by the Spirit or we will be walking in sinking sand. goodnight.
ps another persons actions does not determine your worth in Christ or who you are as a person...no matter what part you may or may not have played in the past. When we come before our Father in confession and repentance we are cleansed and purified.
Jude 24To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.
Posted by jennyhope at 11:51 PM
Posted by jennyhope at 9:15 PM
this goes right along with my current bible study. =) Also, y'alls comments were cracking me up on the last few posts. I have some stuff to share but I have got to run and get ready for Morgan's preschool open house.
By Pastor Greg Laurie
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
No Other Gods
|"Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry."|
|— 1 Corinthians 10:14|
When God gave the Ten Commandments, He began by saying that we should have no other gods before Him.
Idols can be a lot of things. Essentially, an idol could be defined as anyone or anything that takes the place of God in our lives. An idol is any object, idea, philosophy, habit, occupation, sport, or thing that has one's primary concern and loyalty, or decreases one's trust and loyalty to God by any amount.
Alan Redpath defined idolatry this way: "Our god is the person we think is the most precious, for whom we would make the greatest sacrifice, who moves our hearts with the warmest love. He or it is the person who, if we lost him, would leave us desolate."
This definition really opens up the possibilities, doesn't it? A lot of things could qualify as idols in our lives. It is a true but terrifying fact that a person can attend church every Sunday and still practice idolatry.
Is there one thing in your life that, if God asked you for it, you would say, "Absolutely not"? Is there one thing that, if the Lord required it of you, you would say, "Anything but this"? If so, then that thing, that pursuit, or that passion may be an idol in your life.
Is there an idol in your heart today? Is there someone or something more precious to you than God Himself? Any person or pursuit that takes the place of God in your life will not satisfy. Let Him be your Lord. Let Him be your God. He will satisfy you.
Posted by jennyhope at 3:35 PM
Friday, March 7, 2008
Rod got a new ride. Gas prices are sky high, as you know, and his truck has seen her better days (he works in sales and does A TON of driving). My man is 12 years my senior and if you have a problem with that please reference with me some age differences IN THE BIBLE...Ruth and Boaz, Abe and Sarai, and I will spare you any more. You also may be silently wondering was Jenny (don't you love how I speak in 3rd person) looking for a dad when she married Rod? Nope, Jenny was walking with the Lord and received plenty-o-confirmation that Rod was the man for her to marry via much prayer. She already had the Father issue settled in Christ. So age really isn't an issue with us, I just don't think I have ever mentioned that on the blog. I did however grow up really fast and I didn't have much in common with the guys my age. Sometimes, I do have to remind Rod that his name rhymes with God but it is Rod...not God and that we will leave all parenting Jenny issues to God. No, but really I reference the age difference because you may remember my VAN post from back in the day. You can really tell that Rico Suave (a.k.a. Rod) is really starting to show his age in his lack of vanity. I am just not there yet...kidding. I guess I am just a tad more immature ;). He is now driving a Buick. So when you see a really fine guy next to you in a white buick...don't think it is going to be a Paw Paw behind the wheel. Now please before anyone takes offense...I am playing. It really is a blessing to have the new ride. I am so proud of him for going for what it economical. He said the LeSabre gets like 33 miles to the gallon! WHOOO HOOO! He is showing me some gas-loving while I am still on van protest. I will see how long I can have this on here before he spots it... but while we were meeting to get the car tonight he pulled up next to me in the Buick and I said "Morgan daddy is still fine (as in good looking) even in a Buick" she said "daddy fine" (LOL).
On to something else: YOU DO NOT EVER want to go shopping with me. I am so cheap and I will most likely talk you out of your purchases. Some of my friends will vouch for that. So tonight I am at Wal*mart, where ministry happens (I tell Rod that my ministry is at wal*mart so I can go in the name of Jesus), and seriously I can not understand the latest fashions. I call it maternity wear. If you have ever worn maternity clothes chances are you don't want people having to guess if you are pregnant a couple of years after the baby, maybe I am alone on this one. I wish these styles were around when I was pregnant because I would have been able to find more affordable clothes. I am just ready for the maternity shirts in the juniors to be gone. I am sure some can pull it off...but I can't. This brings me to something else a memo that you need to get: If you are shopping in the clothes section at Wal*mart and think you are getting a good deal, chances are you can shop cheaper at the mall. I am not saying they don't have cute things I am just trying to help a sister out by suggesting you take some coupons and head to the mall. I worked there for 10 years and I could always find stuff for el-cheap-o and it still be quality. I have tried to get this through to my mom so many times but she seems to struggle with unbelief when I tell her this (LOL). And for some TMI, it is sad when you are 28 and you have to forfeit a new shirt so you can buy your fiber (speaking of shopping). We all go and some of us have trouble so I am just sayin'.
Now once again, at the risk of offending anyone, I am going to talk about my cat issues. Please reference this post if you are in the dark. Maybe the Lord is trying to break me free or something because I now have a cat that lives in my yard. I was told not to feed it or it may come back. I think the Lord is wanting me to face up to my fears because the wild cat really is sweet and I may even feed it something and just not tell Rod (do you see my heart softening with the cat?). Morgan lunges and growls at it and it doesn't even hiss at her. I am very allergic to cats as a side note (grace). I was talking to one of the greeters at wal*mart and she informed me that she bathes with her cats. I thought that was very strange so please don't harm my impression of you by telling me that you bathe with your cats. I will still love you in Christ (with the power of the Holy Spirit) even if you do...now I am laughing out loud...just don't tell me.
Then, my little sister sends me an email today asking if I want a puppy for Morgan. Does my sister even know me? I yell at the computer. No!, I affectionately reply. I do not want to encourage Morgan in the pet department...and wasn't she raised with me? Doesn't she know that animals and I have a bad history? Even though it was free, I have no idea how people afford all the vet bills.
Y'all my camera is still broken so I will have to get Rod to get a picture sent to me from his camera so I can show you the dress. It is nothing special I promise.
Posted by jennyhope at 11:54 PM
Thursday, March 6, 2008
While some people were taking home economics in high school...I was taking computer classes. It has paid off for me in the long run. Now that I am a professional stay at home mom (working toward working from home) I have suffered greatly from my lack of home-ec skillz.
I never learned to sew on a sewing machine.
So almost 3 years ago I enrolled in some sewing classes. Not only did they not do me any good I went in the hospital on bed rest before I could finish them. Rod hounded me for a L-O-N-G time about learning to sew.
So today I decided I was going to try to learn on my own. This is courage people.
I break out the machine and pray like a mad woman.
Lord, please please I am begging you please help me to learn how to load the thread on the bobbin thing...or whatever you call it Lord...You know what it is called...You truly are the author of this thing. Please help me with some divine sewing intervention! In Jesus' Name.
I kid you not...angels must have come down from heaven...and I give all praise and glory to Him!
Because guess what people! I did it! I sewed up a little green gingham dress for the Morgster!
Forget patterns...and running to the fabric store! I used some Proverbs 31 skills and cut up an old curtain just for practice!
This really is a miracle! Now I will be getting in contact with Rods mom to see if I can get some more mad sewing skillz!
Don't let me get to proud on ya I am just beginning.
Posted by jennyhope at 3:12 PM
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
4 One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.
I have been thinking a lot lately about suffering. I have been surrounded with some immense needs lately. So often, we want to sum everything up regarding life's hurts and we simply can't. If you have ever been through any true valleys in life you know that is not possible (to have all the answers).
Here are some of the prayer requests I have received lately:
loss of a loved one including an infant, chronic health issues, loneliness, despair, a woman struggling because she feels like God is punishing her and that is why she thinks she has had so many awful health problems, financial struggles, divorce, being single, falling into sin and struggling to get back on track, bankruptcy, custody battles, family turmoil, infertility, rejection, job loss, cancer, prodigal children...and the list goes on.
God is completely sovereign but it was never His perfect will for us to have to taste of sin and death.
I spent some time praying for a few people tonight and my heart was so grieved because they are experiencing horrible tragedy. So what do you tell a mother who has lost her precious baby? What do you say at a funeral of a stillborn child? How do you sum those type of things up and tell them that it is all going to be okay, when clearly they are not okay? What about the young girl in Auburn, Alabama who was murdered? What do you say to her family? I am not really asking these as questions. I have learned that sometimes the best thing to say to someone is "I am praying for you" and really earnestly pray and seek to serve those who are so broken hearted and crushed in spirit.
We just won't have all of the answers here on planet earth...even if we do see fruit flow from our suffering. And because we live in a fallen world we will experience so much hardship.
There are a few things that we can be sure of:
1. When Jesus wept over the death of Lazarus he wept for the Mary's and Martha's for all ages...for everyone who would taste the enemy of death and its horrible gut wrenching pain. He wept for you and for me and the hurt of enduring loss.
2. There will come a day when there is no more tears or pain for those of us who are in Christ (Revelation 21). That is the day when our "why's" will cease. That is our hope in Christ, that we will be like Him and the old order will pass away and death will be swallowed up.
Hebrews says that without faith it is impossible to please God. One thing I can say for sure is that when you are walking through the valley of life and you are suffering you will have to cling to Christ. Even when you don't "feel" it. When we lost Shelby life held so many uncertainties and I did not feel like getting up and getting in the word but by God's grace I did. The enemy wants to kick us while we are down and keep us from the Rivers of Living water...and it is when we are going through the darkest night that we need to walk by faith and cling to the word like never before. As we ache, and hurt, and feel despair in this life we have got to cling to the word of God. I can not stress how important it is that we bring the sacrifice of our broken hearts to Jesus for Him to bind them up. If we do not turn to Him we will inevitably turn away.
He still brings beauty from the ashes...I know.
Posted by jennyhope at 11:50 PM
I thought this was so good.
By Greg Laurie
Wednesday, March 5, 2008Learning to Yield
"For our present troubles are quite small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever!"
— 2 Corinthians 4:17I read a story about a radio exchange that took place some time ago between a U.S. Navy ship and Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland. The Canadians warned the Americans, "Please divert your course 15 degrees to the south to avoid a collision."The Americans responded, "Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the north to avoid a collision."The Canadians said, "Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the south to avoid a collision."The Americans: "This is the captain of a U.S. Navy Ship. I say again, divert your course.""No. I say again, you divert your course.""This is the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln, the second largest ship in the United States Atlantic fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers, three cruisers, and numerous support vessels. I demand that you change your course 15 degrees north. I say again, that is 15 degrees north or countermeasures will be undertaken to assure the safety of our ship."After brief moment of silence, the Canadians responded: "This is a lighthouse. It is your call." Sometimes we don't like what God wants us to do, and we want Him to change course when, in reality, it is us who ought to change course.We need to understand that God's plans are better than ours. Having said that, it does not mean that they are always the easiest or even the most appealing at the moment. There are times when we are going through life that we might not like the plan of God. But God's plans are always better for us in the long run.
Posted by jennyhope at 1:57 PM
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
my new bible study starts tonight (No other gods) so please say a prayer. And also pray for THIS.
I know what it is like to lose a child but not after 3 months of having her. I am so sad for all of them.
Posted by jennyhope at 2:17 PM
Monday, March 3, 2008
We are supposed to have some pretty heavy storms rolling in tonight and what is sad is that I have planned my hair day around the storms. I know it is vain but I still have my priorities straight. I can't show up at Morgans preschool looking like the '08 version of Medusa.
Just humor me. I went ahead and washed and dried my hair in case the power goes out. Rod says we have underground power so that we shouldn't lose it (I only secretly asked to plan for my hair).
What about my straightener? Then, I feel as if the Holy spirit may have reminded me (wink wink) Rod has a wonderful plug in adaptor and I could actually sit in my car and straighten my hair if need be. He was never a boy scout (to much of a rebel for that) but the man is endlessly prepared for certain random things. You need any trivia? He is a walking, loud talking (too many gun shots=hearing loss) encyclopedia. And dude can improvise on a whim.
I am praying through what bible study to teach in the spring and would like some input. I have done all of the Beth Moore's but I am open to any of them again. Can you tell me any bible study that has really impacted you and why?!?
Posted by jennyhope at 11:44 PM
more good stuff from Dr. James MacDonald. Visit www.walkintheword.com
Discovering the Heart, Mind, and Soul of Worship
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind . . .” Luke 10:27
On every page of the Bible is the idea of worshipping God--that we are created and saved to the praise of His glory. But so much of what passes for worship today misses that mark. Worship is not about me and what God does for me. Worship is all about Him--recognizing that I am for Him. I breathe for Him. I live for Him. I spend my life for Him. God is not some exalted human being at the top of the mankind chain. God is ineffable glory. He dwells in unapproachable light (1 Timothy 6:16). The essence of worship is proclaiming God’s rightful worth and position. It’s one of the reasons why we come to church: to sweep the stuff off the table of our hearts and minds that have crowded out His rightful place, the central place where He belongs.
In Luke 10:27, Jesus was asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” “Love the Lord your God with all your mind.” God wants us to think great thoughts about Him. You’ll expand your capacity to worship God by studying His Word. The Psalms are a great place to start. An element of testimony is fine, but worship is singing to God. The joy of worship begins when we break the chains of self to be free to focus on God once and for all. So let’s be thoughtful in our worship.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.” When feelings are dead, so is our worship. How would it fly if I said to my wife, ‘Well, honey, it’s Sunday morning and this is always the time when I tell you I love you. So, I love you. I’ll see you next week.” Would you agree that’s probably not going to work with her? It’s not working with God either. God’s Word tells us what we should feel:
- Grief over sin. David said, “My sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3) and “God does not despise a broken heart” (Psalm 51:17). When I come before God in worship, I recognize how I measure up to a pure and holy God.
- Fear. “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him” (Psalm 33:8). When I come before God I feel respect and reverence.
- Longing. “As the dear pants for the water, so my soul longs for God” (Psalm 42:1) Worship draws me to the place where I long for a deeper relationship with Him.
- Thankfulness: “Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving” (Psalm 95:2).
- Indescribable joy: “In Your presence is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11).
You might be asking, “I want this--how do I get it?” I invite you to step forward from the role of observer to participant. Open your heart and enter in; let God bless you and build your faith. In John 4:23, Jesus tells us that “the Father is seeking such people to worship Him.”
Posted by jennyhope at 6:52 PM
Saturday, March 1, 2008
I promise I will get on to some more serious things soon...but for now I have another story.
Today, Morgan told her first lie. She has just started talking with us (a little) and I asked her what happened to the box of brownies that was empty on the floor and she said "I don't know." I then asked her if she was lying to me and she pulled open the desk drawers and showed me where the brownies were.
I am brushing my teeth a minute ago and I see my red tooth brush that I thought I lost, stuffed down deep in the sink. I wonder who did that. Rod is going to be upset about that one.
Backing up a few days...I have been searching high and low for a missing dvd that I knew Morgan had taken and it needed to be turned in to the video store. She is not communicating enough for me to really find out where her dads western flick went to so I prayed to the Lord for the mind of a two year old. That He would help me to think like her and find the thing. After 3 days of searching I prayed again and was led upstairs to the old diaper wipe-warmer of hers (that I used for a week and decided my infant didn't need that kind of spoiling). I open it and presto...there was the missing dvd (Praise You Lord). I think she thought the wipe warmer maybe resembled a cd player. Two days ago, I go in her room and literally take her breakfast in bed because I was not finished with my bible study and I really needed to finish before she got going (I know I am horrible). Upon returning her room I look to check and see if she ate her breakfast and saw that once again the vent cover was not all the way in the floor. Yep...she stuffed breakfast down the vent. I am not sure what her fascination with stuffing food in the vents is...maybe she is already some sort of baby activist who wants to feed the roaches. I have no clue. I am starting to wonder if she doesn't want to hurt my feelings so she just hides the stuff in the vents (if you remember her recent oreo and cheese cracker episode where she stuffed them in the vents). I swear people we watch her, we really do. The vacuum, a permanent fixture in our home...a piece of modern furniture I like to think, stays out at all times so I can suck out the vents and etc. A force to be reckoned with, she is.
But back it up to the lie and all of the times I have vacuumed out the vents lately from my child "concealing her food", we are so like that with our sin and the origin of concealing our sins goes right back to the Garden.
Proverbs 28:13 says this:
13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper,
but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
The word for prosper in the Hebrew is salah and it basically means to gain victory, or to succeed. The word conceal means what you think it is the word Kasah and it means "to conceal, hide, keep secret...Sometimes signifies something hidden from view..."
It is the concept of covering or hiding your sins.
God's word is clear that "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). Yet so often we choose to conceal and hide our sins and God's word says that in concealing our sins we will not be victorious.
When we choose to lie and sin and conceal we really make our comforts or the people we are lying to idols. We fear man instead of God so we sin against God and in not coming to Him in confession and repentance we begin to heap sin upon sin (Isa 30:1). What we would consider in our own human estimation to be mini-sins, become bigger and bigger when we don't come and be honest before a Holy God and repent. He hates all sin so nothing is really a small sin in His eyes. We may have a different degree of consequence for our sins but every sin causes us to miss the mark and need His grace that He will so freely give us.
As I have been seeking to really come before the Lord and examine myself before Him I have noticed how uncomfortable it is and I have been seeing my extreme need for His grace and mercy because He is so holy and I am only made holy because of Him. It is so sobering to really come clean with God over all of my known offenses and see the reality of how nothing good lives in me, that is, my sinful nature (Ro 7:18).
He is really the only good thing that I have going!
I said to the LORD, "You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing."
Back to our comfort. We make comfort such an idol because plain and simple it is not comfortable to come and admit that you are wrong, that you are so sinful, and that you are depraved apart from Christ. Our pride just gets in the way. Sin is so progressive. Once you start to grade your sins a think a little lie hear and there is okay, or a little grudge, over indulgence, gossiping, worry, unchecked anger... when you just skim over those things it becomes easier to sin in what you might consider a bigger way. You become less sensitive to the Holy Spirit when your life lays unexamined and you remain unrepentant.
Yet God is true and His Word is clear that we will not prosper or live victoriously when we "stuff our pet sins down the vent" spiritually speaking. All that does is attract the roaches and we have a whole dirty mess on our hands.
When we confess our sins and seek the heart of God, He is faithful. Aren't you glad our forgiveness hinges on His faithfulness?
So deal with your stuff before it deals with you. He is for us and our glorious liberation in Christ Jesus.
Posted by jennyhope at 11:58 PM