Here is a picture of my brother Will and me. He graduated tonight from high school. I am feeling really old considering he was 5 when I moved out of the house. He has the sweetest heart. I am so proud of him.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Posted by jennyhope at 1:19 AM
Thursday, May 28, 2009
These are both from Beth Moore's book "Further Still":
(this first one is so where I am at right now)
In that lonely place
No friend can go
No brother can help
No loved one can know
I must crawl on
While you stay
Just watch and pray
In that lonely place
The cup is fought
To sip the pain
Or choose my lot
To claim my rights
Or cast them down
To gain my loss
Or scorn my crown
Life pivots there
In Further Still
Face to the ground
Fighting His will
Can't choose to return
The same who went
Once Further Still
The old is spent
So remember me
And stay close by
I'll need you soon
Right by my side
And pray me back
Til He has won
And throat is parched
From "Yours be done!"
This was so comforting to me.
Hush, little baby, Daddy's got a Word
No eye has seen, no ear has heard.
Dream sweet dreams but you can't dream this
Plans your weaver weaves for bliss.
Hush, little baby, don't you cry
Daddy fixes all things by and by.
Cease your striving, rest your eyes
You're my joy and you're my prize.
Sleep, little baby, I'll stay awake
If skies should fall and mountains quake.
You'll be safe in Daddy's arms
Wrapped in blankets, robbed from harms.
Hush, little baby, I will sing
While angels dance and 'round you ring.
If I should come before you wake
Your eyes will open to Daddy's face.
So hush little baby, trust me now
Thrones and powers to me bow.
I tell oceans what to do
I think Daddy can take care of you.
Beth Moore, "Further Still" copyright 2004
Posted by jennyhope at 1:10 AM
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Posted by jennyhope at 2:46 PM
The following videos are me testing my flip camera in the car. The one that is down at the bottom of the 4 posts should be played first. It is not that interesting I warn you.
You will have to click to the right and where it has the II (pause button) or I> (play) click on it to turn the sound off. It is in my right side bar.
Posted by jennyhope at 12:33 PM
Here are a bunch of pics
CLICK HERE will someone let me know if you can view them??
Posted by jennyhope at 11:30 AM
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Posted by jennyhope at 3:51 PM
I have had a whole range of emotions today (not complaining here).
1. Rod had an all out crazy day of stress with work so I felt bad for him. He woke the whole house up this morning with an emergency with one of his accounts. Can anyone say loud talker?
2. Did some really hard bible study this morning. Really hard meaning looking in the mirror and letting the Lord show me some hard yet protective material.
3. Feeling like a bad mother because I slept late and felt worse when Rod mentioned that I did not go on any boat rides with Morgan. Well, first of all she is so busy that she pays me no attention at her MiMi and Pops. Not to mention I spend every waking second with my child. She is in no way neglected for love or attention or time spent. My child is VERY secure in her relationship with me. I had to remind myself of that.
4. I had someone speak in innuendos to me today, which is so irritating.
5. I wished I could have been of more help to Rod today, while all at the same time I wanted to spend time with my sister and brother. TORN
6. I went to meet my other sister in Tuscaloosa and felt like crud because sometimes I am not good at showing affection for my family even if I feel it. It comes so easy with others but I make some sort of barrier even though I feel. So, I was talking about me being the boss growing up. I was. She tucked me into bed for heavens sake. Well, it caused her some bad memories and she burst into tears and ran to the bathroom. Bad sister. I love her, and all of my sisters and brother so much and I hate my stinking flesh when I discount someones feelings.
7. I felt guilt for feeling so blessed.
8. Thought the Lord might come burst through the clouds and make His entrance to claim His bride. He already paid the dowry, so I am just waiting for that day. It didn't happen while I was driving home. boo. Crazy roller coaster of emotions and I had to pray that I would fix my eyes on Him. I truly blow it and can do nothing without Him working to accomplish His good purpose in me.
9. The cops just had to break into my house for me (did I say that? the politically correct legal way to say it would be "I let them watch me break into my house" but that would be a lie). I am so not a camper and was not about to camp in the car and tried my knife, finger nail file, scissors, and none of them worked for me. The officer showed me how to break in like a thief. Nice. His backup arrived and said, "You are the one with the mitral valve issues and panic attacks. Are they better?" Nice. Not only did I feel like an idiot for calling the police and not having my key...I felt like a freak that they know me and the whole panic attack thing.
NEW MERCIES LORD. BRING THEM ON. I need them. There is so much more in between but lets just suffice to say I need Thee Lord, I need Thee...every nano-second I need Thee.
Posted by jennyhope at 1:43 AM
Sunday, May 24, 2009
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." -Matthew 5:8
This tickled me to death. I saw this up on our computer. It is called...get ready for this...: "Purify My Hunt." That would be from the hunter in the house.
You know when some people come up and tell you, "God wanted me to tell you something" and you kind of want to back away slowly. Well, Morgan cracked me up tonight because she said, "Mommy, Jesus told me that I did not have to (brush) wash my teeth." I said, well He sure did not tell me that so get in the bathroom and brush your teeth. ;)
Posted by jennyhope at 12:56 AM
Thursday, May 21, 2009
I went to see Shelby's grave today and I walked around the circle and prayed for all of the people who have lost children. A precious girl in my bible study that y'all prayed for a while back lost her sweet baby Bryant a few months ago. He was only 12 weeks old. My heart just aches for her. I began to feel pain knowing that my knees to the earth are as close as I can get to my child or to hers for now. As I was praying, I walked by two graves belonging to the same family. One child had lived for a few months and the other died the same day he was born. My heart hurt for her as well.
As I sat down tonight to write Marcy, I had some words on my heart that I wrote down (I am obviously no poet. So these are just my feelings as they came to me):
I want to run
I can't stay still
or stop or pray.
A part of me is torn in two.
Without You O' God
I wouldn't know what to do.
So much of me wants to be mad at You.
You breathe life
and You take it too.
I wish this was a nightmare.
I wish I could wake up
and it all be OK.
Instead my days are filled with pain.
Everyone says this is about Your glory
it sounds so cliche'
when I just want my baby back
here to stay.
This isn't fair Lord!
This is NOT how it should be
my baby was supposed to bury me.
Where can I go to flee the pain?
God hold me in Your arms forever to stay.
This is too much for me
I can not bare this load.
My child is above
while I am left here... with empty arms
without him to hold.
Until I rise to meet You in the air
please treat my heart with Your tender care.
My eyes are fixed on You
I don't understand.
I long for the day to hold him again.
I was not meant for this fallen state.
This is never what You intended
this death and this pain.
You sent Your Son to die on a cross
my sins You paid for, oh what a cost.
I can't imagine how You must have felt,
until then help me to accept the cards that have been dealt.
I can't walk this road alone
please God keep me safely in Your fold.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
With the belt of truth buckled around your waist-Ephesians 6:14
This is my attempt to start a little mini-series on "putting on the full armor of God".
This would be a picture of the belt of truth (Greek or Latin Term- cinulum militaire-a leather belt). I am such a visual learner and it is hard to picture the whole armor without a little research.
The belt of truth was a name Paul used to relate to the people of Ephesus and everyone else that would read that epistle today about one of the tools of the armor that we need to "put on" in taking our stand against the wiles of the evil one. I love the King James rendering of this passage: Ephesians 6.
"The "belt of truth" was named after the leather belt with an apron that hung in front of the Roman soldier's groin and lower abdomen. Small brass plates were attached to the apron to provide the greatest possible protection."
Hello people the belt of truth was to protect the genital region (I guess our modern day comparison would be a jockstrap cup that most athletes wear...sorry for the analogy). It seems so taboo to talk about but how many times have we heard growing up about how bad it hurts to have any kind of injury in the groin area. I hate to be graphic but it's just the truth.
"When preparing for battle, the belt would have been the first piece of protective equipment put on by a soldier. It clung closely to the soldier and shielded some of the most vulnerable areas of the body."
We are so vulnerable when we do not know the truth. We are given an example by the psalmist that we are to hide His word in our hearts that we might not sin against Him. The truth is very liberating when we seek to know it and obey it. James 4:17 says this "17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins."
2 Corinthians 3:17
17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
So in relation to a Roman soldier He was free to go into battle with his loins girded and protected. Our hearts and minds desperately need the protection that comes from the renewal of the mind. The word is transforming and when applied combats the lies and the deception of our own sinful nature. We are so blessed to have a copy of the blessed written word of God. he is the Word so the Word is how we know Him, how we know truth. I can not tell you the amount of times that I have felt a certain way but I had to acknowledge that my "feelings" were a lie because they contradicted what God's word said. In a generation where a lot of Christians have thrown out the whole concept of discipline we desperately need to discipline ourselves to spend time in the word of God. That is not legalism it is relationship. Rod and I were going to the lake the other day and he was listening to a radio program on his iphone, Morgan was watching a movie, and I had on Israel Houghton's new CD "One". *Side note* You need to get that c.d. it is amazing! I was like man this is sad, all of the distractions. We are so distracted in this generation that it is so easy to make little time for the Lord and a lot of time for lesser things. I think distraction is a huge part of the breakdown in marriage and family. People are too busy to talk or even eat as a family. We are so wrapped up in our own little world. The word is liberating but it also means change and absolute truth, which sometimes is a hard pill for us to swallow.
"The belt prepares one to be ready for action. Belts were used to tie up the garments so they would not get in the way while fighting. The call to have "your loins girt about with truth" is a call to be prepared. Christians always need to be ready to defend themselves against the powers of darkness and not be caught unaware.
You can be prepared in every circumstance, by making certain that you are a person of truth. This includes--
- Knowing the good news about Jesus and explaining why you believe in Him.
- Living as a person of integrity--as someone who is honest and trustworthy.
Whew, I have a long way to go. I can't tell you how many times I realize how I can truly do nothing without Christ. I am so impoverished apart from Him and His mercies.
"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect..." 1 Peter 3:15, 16
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16
The soldiers were able to go into battle with their garments tied up so they would not trip up and be ensnared by the enemy. Our battle is not against flesh and blood but we have a real enemy who wants to trip us up and ensnare us in all manner of sin. By allowing Gods truth to permeate into our inner man we too will be prepared and avoid the pitfalls of the enemy.
This is one of my favorite verses:
Psalm 119:32 I run in the path of your commands,
for you have set my heart free.
Dear Lord, please let us run in the path of your word. We can only do that by the power of the Holy Spirit. Give us wholly devoted hearts to You. You are so worthy Lord. Thank you that we can have hearts that are free when we delight ourselve in Your liberating truth. Jesus we want to stand on the firm solid rock found in You. In Jesus' Name.
*Quotations taken from Rose Publishing. 2008 RW research inc. Author, Timothy Paul Jones, Ed.D
Question: "Why did Jesus curse the ?"
Answer: The account of Jesus cursing the barren fig tree is found in two different Gospel accounts. First it is seen in Matthew 21:18-22, and then also in Mark 11:12-14. While there are slight differences between the two accounts, they are easily reconciled by studying the passages. Like all Scripture, the key to understanding this passage comes from understanding the context in which it happened. In order to properly understand this passage, we must first look at the chronological and geographical setting. For example when did this occur, what was the setting, and where did it happen? Also, in order to fully understand this passage, we need to have an understanding of the importance of the fig tree as it relates to the nation of Israel, and understand how the fig tree is often used in the Scriptures to symbolically represent . Finally, we must have a basic understanding of the fig tree itself, its growing seasons, etc.
First, in looking at the general chronological setting of the passage, we see that it happened during the week before His crucifixion. Jesus had entered a day earlier amidst the praise and worship of the Jewish people who were looking to Him as the King/Messiah who was going to deliver them from Roman occupation (Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11). Now, the next day, Jesus is again on His way to Jerusalem from where He was staying in Bethany. On His way, both Matthew and Mark record that He was hungry and saw a fig tree in the distance that had leaves on it (Mark 11:13). Upon coming to the tree expecting to find something to eat Jesus instead discovered that the fig tree had no fruit on it and cursed the tree saying, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” (Matthew 21:19; Mark 11:14). Matthew records the cursing and the withering of the fig tree all in one account and includes it after the account of Jesus cleansing the Temple of the moneychangers. Mark explains that it actually took place over two days with Jesus cursing the fig tree the first day on the way to cleanse the Temple, and the disciples seeing the tree withered on the second day when they were again going to Jerusalem from Bethany (Mark 11:12-14 and Mark 11:19-20). Of course upon seeing the tree “withered from the roots up,” the disciples were amazed as that would have normally taken several weeks.
Having reviewed the general chronological setting of the story, we can begin to answer some of many questions that are often asked of it. First of all is the question: Why did Jesus curse the fig tree if it was not the right season for figs? The answer to this question can be determined by studying the characteristics of fig trees. By doing that we learn that the fruit of the fig tree generally appears before the leaves and because the fruit is green it sort of blends in with the leaves right up until it is almost ripe. Therefore, when Jesus and His disciples saw from a distance that the tree had leaves, they would have expected it to also have fruit on it even though it was earlier in the season than what would be normal for a fig tree to be bearing fruit. Also, from studying about the way fig trees grow in Israel we learn that each tree would often produce two to three crops of figs each season. There would be an early crop in the spring followed by one or two later crops. In some parts of the area, depending on climate and conditions, it was also possible that a tree might produce fruit ten out of twelve months. This also explains why Jesus and His disciples would be looking for fruit on the fig tree even if it was not in the main growing season. The fact that the tree already had leaves on it even though it was at a higher elevation around Jerusalem, and therefore would have been outside of the normal season for figs, would have seemed to be a good indication that there would also be fruit on it.
As to what the significance of this passage is and what it means, the answer to that is again found in the chronological setting and in understanding how a fig tree is often used symbolically to represent Israel in the Scriptures. First of all, chronologically, Jesus had just arrived at Jerusalem amidst great fanfare and great expectations, but then proceeds to cleanse the Temple and curse the barren fig tree. Both had important significance as to the spiritual condition of Israel. With His cleansing of the Temple and His criticism of the worship that was going on there (Matthew 21:13; Mark 11:17), Jesus was effectively denouncing Israel’s worship of God. With the cursing of the fig tree He was symbolically denouncing Israel as a nation and in a sense even denouncing unfruitful “Christians.” (That is people who profess to be Christian but have no evidence of a relationship with Christ).
The presence of a fruitful fig tree was considered to be a symbol of blessing and prosperity for the nation of Israel. Likewise, the absence or death of a fig tree would symbolize judgment and rejection. Symbolically, the fig tree represented the spiritual deadness of Israel, who while very religious outwardly with all the sacrifices and ceremonies, were spiritually barren because of their sins. By cleansing the Temple and cursing the fig tree, causing it to whither and die, Jesus was pronouncing His coming judgment of Israel and demonstrating His power to carry it out. It also teaches the principle that religious profession and observance is not enough to guarantee salvation, unless there is the fruit of genuine salvation evidence in the life of the person. James would later echo this truth when he wrote that “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). The lesson of the fig tree is that we should bear spiritual fruit ( 5:22-23), not just give an appearance of religiosity. God judges fruitlessness, and expects that those who have a relationship with Him will “bear much fruit” (John 15:5-8).
Recommended Resource: Jesus: The Greatest Life of All by Charles Swindoll.
Posted by jennyhope at 3:54 PM
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
19But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. 20For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."
21After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened.
I am laying in the bed at the Biltmore with something on my heart that I have to share. I am so thankful to have some time with just me and my man. That is a rare thing. Normally he goes on hunting trips and I go to Beth Moore conferences. He is at a work conference but I was so privileged to get to come along for the ride.
I was recently told (by a fellow believer) that I really did not need to share about Jesus everywhere I went. I was so hurt by that comment because the person said I did not need to "preach to people". First of all, I am not a preacher. (Pause to talk to Morgan...Morgan is bawling her eyes out from separation anxiety...it is breaking my heart.) Anyway, I was more in shock that this person told me that. "I am just to over the top!" The Lord brought to mind the above verses. I began to pray that the Lord would convict this person and I was going to stick to the verses and that God could convict this fellow believer. I am going to obey God and not man on that one. Plus y'all He means everything to me. I would be completely poverty stricken, spiritually speaking, apart from Jesus. He is what gives me life and purpose. How can I not speak of what He has done for me and what I have seen to a lost and dying world? I was on the road to destruction when He called me out of darkness into the light. Along the way there were people in my life who were "different" and I took note of that. We are called to be in this world but not of it. That is the whole point when the Lord says, "Be Holy, because I am holy." It is the same word for consecrated, meaning to be set apart vessels that the Lord can use. I don't want to shrink back just because someone puts me down. Praise the Lord that we have His precious promises and can fall back on absolute truth in a world full of lies. God provided me with ample opportunity tonight to talk and brag about Him.
I was reading this morning about David bringing the ark to Jerusalem and how it was put on a cart and the dude that reached out and touched it was struck down. I have read this many times but the Holy Spirit really spoke to me on this one. They were not to be transporting it on a cart, and the pagan Philistines who did not know God transported it the same way. When you read in Numbers you see how it was to be carried. Why? Because the LORD, The NAME, The LORD God Almighty would sit between the cherubim and that is the way He would be with His people. So when the guy reached out to grab the ark, and everyone was dancing with all our their might praising God, and then He was struck down it really leaves you confused. 1. I had to think about the fact that God knew his heart and in His holiness struck him down because they had the instruction of Gods word and they were treating the ark (of His presence) in a manner unworthy. David doesn't take the ark with him, he becomes fearful of God, and angry in his finite heart and mind. The whole point this morning to me was the holiness of God. We have lost such an emphasis on that in our day. God is Holy and our righteousness is as filthy rags. We are made right only under the new covenant because of the blood of Jesus. We are not to love this world system or set our affections on anything that lowers our vision of God or takes our hearts from being set on heaven to being ensnared by the things of this earth that will fade. I realize that this is so long....we are to fear the Lord and not man or the consequences of man for standing up for truth and being obedient in a respectful, gentle and loving way to share about Jesus and give a reason for the hope that we have. So regardless of who tries to tell us to shy away from the gospel we pick pleasing the Lord over that every time.
I read these verses two days ago and it just jumped off of the page:
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
He is all we really have. He is our Rock and I know that from experience. It has been my prayer this week that I will not blend in. Do I still want to dress cute and like my hair, yes!!!Even our bodies will fail us but He won't. I want the cry of my heart to be LORD, this earth has nothing I desire besides YOU!!!! Because so often I chase after lesser things. He is your portion forever. When people let you down and when you let yourself down praise God that You can turn to Him and He is the only one that truly gets you, He is the only One who is constant.
The grass withers and the flowers fade but the word of God stands forever. Jesus is the word made flesh. So I will keep on telling of His mercies and what He has done.
Posted by jennyhope at 10:24 PM
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Wow I have been a pathetic blogger lately. It isn't because I am short on things to write either. I have been so tired lately. I took a nap today and about 4 naps yesterday...for real. I also have pink eye. Morgan had it to and she is a trooper. That girl never complains about hurting or anything...but it does hurt. Yuck. I will be back later with some stuff I had on my heart. I just wanted to say that I have been burdened for those who are single, have lost a child, or a mother. Mother's day is a hard day for so many...and a little over rated ;). For those of you who do not have offspring...keep being persistent and knocking on heavens door with the desires of your heart. Until then pray for God to put spiritual offspring in your path so you can strengthen sons and daughters of the Lord. For those of you who hurt, I pray that God will pour His healing balm on your wound. Draw near to Him. Morgan is only a gift of His grace and I feel so inadequate, and ill-equipped to be her mother. There are days that she wears me completely out and days where I am so irritable I can't see straight. It is hard, but so good and for that I am thankful. No one is lesser or scorned just because they are not a mom. If you are single and reading this, cherish your time with Jesus. It is so rich. When I am pouring out my heart to God now it is usually with a monkey on my back. I pray that the Lord lavishly blesses whoever is reading this. Praise You Lord for You are the God who sees us.
Posted by jennyhope at 7:43 PM