Daily Pointers for Connecting with God – Pray that all may be one

Daily Pointers for Connecting with God

Pray that all may be one

The COVID-19 pandemic has created many firsts and tested our social fabric like nothing else has. One of the things that is being tested is unity in the Body of Christ.

Jesus prayed in John 17:21: “…that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” 

All believers united to the Father in Christ, all believers united to each other. Now there is a relevant prayer for today! It’s one that Jesus prayed just before His crucifixion, most likely because He knew that unity among the believers and intimacy with God would be severely tested, because the credibility of the gospel could stand or fall with the unity of the believers.

As is evident today. Three churches managed to grab headlines by defying state limits on gatherings and have mass services in the misguided believe that the virus won’t touch us as believers and the state has no right to impose restrictions on church gatherings. No doubt there have been more. South Korea had the same issue, and churches unwittingly became super-spreaders of the virus. While it may be true that constitutionally the government has no say in the affairs of churches, an obedient united response to its guidelines and setting an example in social conduct that inhibits the spreading of the virus enhances the credibility of the church. It serves the gospel, not hinders it.

The pandemic also serves one of God’s more hidden purposes in times of trial: believers making extra effort to stay connected even though we cannot meet in person. Though Satan perhaps rejoices at the idea of us not being able to meet and aims to further divide us, it has the potential to do the opposite and deepen our bonds – small groups meeting on Zoom, a proliferation of prayer calls, virtual services, virtual worship, virtual choirs. All working together like never before to stay connected. Nothing unites us more than overcoming an adversity.

Another reason to be united more than ever surfaced in the news as well: The mayor of New York threatened to permanently close any church or synagogue that didn’t abide by his assembly rules, prompting an outcry from legal groups defending religious liberty. But does it create a climate whereby a government can overstep its bounds, using a crisis as justification, and close a house of worship because it doesn’t obey their rules? Time will tell. Prayerful vigilance is warranted!

So partner with Jesus, the Son of God, and pray that we all may be one – with deepening bonds to each other, and to the Father. Ask the Lord today how you should pray into these weighty matters, in the spirit of Habakkuk: “I will take my stand at my watchpost and station myself on the tower, and look out to see what He will say to me.” (Hab. 2:1)

Remco Brommet

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Raking vs. Digging

Digging for GoldI once heard someone say, “You rake leaves, but you have to dig for gold.” As I have been in some sort of Bible study on and off for over 40 years now, I have come to discover that there is a big difference between “raking” and “digging” when it comes to studying God’s Word. You can skim over it- “raking”- getting the gist of the content, perhaps just reading the chapter headings. Or you can take time and “dig” in, study it, and obtain the gold nuggets of truth that lie within.

Why is it so important to take the time to be in an in-depth Bible study?
Here’s 5 reasons why I would recommend “digging versus raking.”

1. GETTING TO KNOW YOUR CREATOR. Growing up, I learned all the Bible stories and knew a lot “about” God. But I did not grasp the depth of His love for me or the amazing breadth of His power, majesty, and desire to be in a personal relationship with me. In order to get to know someone and love him or her deeply, you must spend a significant amount of time together. For me to know the One who created me and loves me more than any human ever will, as well as learn to trust Him totally, I must enter into an intimate and full understanding of His character. Digging will help me grasp the complete scope of God’s nature. “And to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:19.

2. FINDING YOUR LIFE PURPOSE. Most humans are on a quest to find and fulfill their life purpose, often asking the question, “Why am I here?” Life without a sense of purpose can lead to discouragement, depression, and despair. Digging into God’s Word is not only an amazing discovery of your Creator, but also how and why He made us humans, and what His life purpose is for us. God wants to speak directly to YOU through His Word and for you to know His plan and purpose for your life. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work,” 2 Timothy 3:16-17. And Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

3. LIVING A LIFE OF FREEDOM IN OUR TRUE IDENTITY requires that we know the difference between lies and God’s truth. In order to recognize a lie, we must first know God’s truth. How do we identify counterfeit things? Do bankers study the hundreds of examples of counterfeit money to recognize it? No, they study the real thing. They study it so well that when something that is not real comes across their desk they will say, “Wait a minute! Something is not right with this one.” It is the same with distinguishing lies. When a lie presents itself to us, either through thoughts, something we see or hear, we can recognize that something’s not right about it, that it is contrary to God’s truth. We will know that it is a lie from the enemy. But if we don’t know God’s truth from studying the Bible, we won’t be in a position to recognize a lie when it comes to us and will remain slaves to lies and bondage. John 8:31-32 tells us that if we ABIDE in His word, we are truly His disciples, and we will know the TRUTH and the TRUTH will set us FREE. There is a gold mine of truth and wisdom in God’s Word in how to handle any of life situations you are facing right now, and it will give you the power source to keep walking in freedom.

4. MAKING WISE LIFE DECISIONS. God loves us deeply and wants us to live extraordinary lives (John 10:10). That’s very difficult to do if you are consistently making poor decisions or falling prey to Satan’s lies. The Bible is life’s handbook and map and will help you avoid the pitfalls of foolish and ignorant decisions. As I have dug for the gold in God’s Word over the years, I have come to a deeper understanding of making healthy, Godly choices. Every day I pray and ask God to help me make wise decisions and show me what to do. It is especially crucial for my personality type, (Phlegmatic) which has a very hard time making decisions! “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8

5. THE ASSURANCE OF HEAVEN AND STRENGTH IN THE STORMS. This may be one of the greatest benefits of taking the time to really dig into God’s Word. God’s desires for us to be His children and spend eternity with Him. His Word clearly tells us how we can be assured of an eternal destination with Him (John 3:16). It’s also not only having the guarantee of heaven, but also as we dig deeper into His Word, we also have the assurance that He will be with us throughout life’s storms. He will help us to persevere and remain hopeful when everything around us may be in turmoil. “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God.” Psalm 146:5. (Go digging in Psalms for numerous verses about hope!)

These are just a few of the endless benefits of learning how to, and taking the time to, dig deep in God’s Word. Being a part of groups like Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), Community Bible Study (CBS), and now a Precepts group, have helped me to mature in my faith and learn how to walk daily in freedom through my relationship with Christ. They have also provided a wonderful community in which to learn and grow in my faith journey. God’s passion is to raise up a strong army of believers in these perilous times. Knowing Him, and His Word is part of equipping we saints for victorious living.

Get your shovel and start digging!

For His Glory,
Jennifer

CBS-  http://www.communitybiblestudy.org/, BSF –  https://www.bsfinternational.org/, and PRECEPT http://www.precept.org/ are national/international ministries. Join a group in your area. You won’t regret it!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Transitions

Bridge smallI think of starting a new year like crossing a bridge to a new unknown place. It’s with mixed emotions I cross. I’m excited for all God has in store, knowing He is my loving Father and His plans for my life are for good. But I’m also a bit nervous about saying goodbye to much of what I’m comfortable with and is known. 

Before I cross the bridge into a new year, they’re a few things I do to help me prepare for the traverse.

1. I pray and ask the Lord to give me a “year verse or verses” from the Bible. I’ve been doing this for about five years now, and as I reflect back on each year, He has always given me a “banner” truth over each year.

2. I pray and ask the Lord to show me what HIS priorities are going into the New Year. Are there things I need to let go of? Are there new habits that need to be implemented? Are there adjustments that need to be made in my schedule? I ask Him to help me stick to HIS priorities and not be distracted with things that may appear good, but are not His will. (Ask Him if there is anything you DON’T need to be doing.)

3. I spend time thanking Him for all He did in me, through me, and allowed me to be a part of, in the previous year. It is faith-building to look back and remember God’s loving care throughout the year and encouraging as I’m stepping into a new year with trust for uncharted journeys. I am reminded that He is a faithful God! (1 Thessalonians 5:24)


4. I make a prayer list for my family, friends, ministry, and other things the Lord lays on my heart at the time. Then at the end of the year I go back and look at that list and praise God for all the answers!

As we enter this New Year, take hold of all the new possibilities that await you. Embrace God’s plan and purpose for your life, knowing that it is unique to YOU! I love the saying, “I may not know what the future holds, but I trust the One who holds it.”

Happy New Year!

For His Glory,
Jennifer

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Birthdays

IMG_3134
December is birthday month in our house. I have one December 12th and six days later we celebrate my oldest daughter’s birthday. Then one week later we honor another birthday- one far more important than the first two of the month -the one of our savior, Jesus.

There were many years growing up when I resented having a December birthday. Everyone was far more focused on the December 25th birthday and often I felt mine got lost in the pre-Christmas preparations. Most kids didn’t want to go to a birthday party two weeks before Christmas, but rather were focused on Santa and all the holiday hoopla. Then when my daughter arrived two weeks early, exactly one week before Christmas, we now had another December birthday to celebrate. (We have done our best over the years to make sure her birthday is special and recognized.)

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.[a] Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.      Psalm 139:13-16

As I have grown older I have developed a deep fondness for my December birthday. I get to share with my daughter and my Lord, and rejoice in the lives that were given this month. I recognize that the time of our birth was ordained long before we are born, and God knew the exact DAY that we were to come into this world. (Psalm 139:16) He knew why we were to be born to the parents we were, in the country, community, and family and which year. I often wonder what it would have been like if I’d been born 50 or 100 years earlier, or 20 or 30 years later? God’s timing is always perfect. If I’d been born years earlier or later, for different reasons, I may not have survived beyond the womb or long outside it.

It fascinates me to think of how God determines who is born to which set of parents, when, where, and why? In what country and culture. It’s all part of His overall plan and purpose for our lives and is a part of His bigger picture plan for eternity. It blows my mind! Each of us has a planned life for an eternal purpose. (Jeremiah 29:11) For “such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14) Some of those lives spend a long time here on earth while others are very short or do not live outside their mother’s womb. But all were initially created for an eternal purpose, no matter the human influence or timeframe of existence.

As I get older it’s tempting to bemoan another birthday. As the wrinkles increase and my “earth suit” does not function as well as it once did, I am thankful for every year the Lord grants me here on earth. He has blessed me with seeing His plan and purpose for my life come to fruition.  And I know that I will not exit this earth one day or minute before God’s ordained time. Every breath is a gift from God as is each passing year.

IMG_3186

“Fear not, for I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.     Luke 2:10-11

As we celebrate Christ’s birth every December, I am even more amazed in God’s perfect plan and timing of His birth. He chose the parents, place, year, and all the miraculous circumstances that would surround His birth. Many of them prophesied centuries before. And as an angel of the Lord told the shepherds that Jesus’ birth was “good news of great joy for all the people,” it is still great news of joy for all of us today. A savior is born to make a way for forgiveness and reconciliation with God and eternal life with Him!

I give thanks for the multiple birthdays I celebrate each December, but it is HIS that is the greatest. And because of HIS birthday, I can rejoice that all of mine are with Him. Whether they are here on earth or with Him in heaven for eternity.

Happy Birthday Jesus!

Merry CHRISTmas!
For His glory,
Jennifer

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Mirror, Mirror”


I have a love-hate relationship with the mirror. Many days when I look at my reflection I only see the flaws and loathe the image staring back at me. Other days, I see beautiful eyes and a glimmering smile and think, “Not bad.” But the loathing days far outweigh the “Not bad” days. We are often our own worst critics, and we tend to gauge our worth on the reflection gazing back at us.

Women want to feel lovely, beautiful, worthy and cherished. And being in a world bombarded with Photoshopped images of what our culture tells us is beautiful; it is often impossible to measure up. Even the evil queen in the classic fairytale story, Snow White, wanted her mirror to assure her she was the fairest in the land.

This past weekend I had the joy of being a part of another women’s True Identity Retreat. It never ceases to amaze me how ladies will come in on Friday afternoon with the weight of the world on their shoulders, obviously carrying heavy burdens and harboring deep wounds. Many even tell me that they hate what they see in the mirror, thus hating themselves. But as the weekend progresses, their entire countenance changes, leaving on Sunday, radiant and joyful!

What was it that made such a dramatic transformation? They didn’t suddenly lose weight or wake up with a new face. They didn’t win the lottery or an all expenses paid vacation to Hawaii. They didn’t have all their debts immediately forgiven, or all their problems erased. What was it?

                       “I am His workmanship.”      Isaiah 64:8

They realized they had been looking in the wrong mirror! A worldly mirror that reflects a distorted image and screams back at them, “ Ugly, worthless, broken, and hopeless.” One that magnifies flaws and a sin-filled position and alters the reflection just enough to give a skewed view of the subject.

So we gave the women a new mirror. The mirror of God’s Word. And as they gazed in that mirror they began to see a different likeness. They saw how GOD sees them;
Beautiful,
Radiant,
His precious daughter,
Loved and cherished.
Forgiven, righteous and free!

The lies roaring back from the worldly mirror were broken off, and their TRUE beauty was allowed to shine through.

       ” He is enthralled by my beauty.”      Psalm 45:11

Throw away your old mirror! Look in the mirror of God’s Word to see your accurate reflection. See yourself as HE sees you. Delight in the beauty and uniqueness of your being. You are His one of a kind masterpiece. Revel in that and give Him glory by accepting it and being bodaciously pleased in it!

For His Glory,
Jennifer

Print out the “In the Mirror of God’s Word,” stick it on your mirror and be reminded of your TRUE beauty and worth.

New TIM LOGO blue


IN THE MIRROR OF GOD’S WORD, I SEE…
1 Samuel 12:22         I am His own.
1 Samuel 16:7           He sees my heart.
2 Kings 20:5             He heals me.
1 Chron. 28:8           I will pass on an inheritance.
Job 23:10                  He knows the way that I take.
Psalm 16:11              He gives me eternal pleasures at His right hand.
Psalm 21:6               He makes me glad with the joy of His presence.
Psalm 27:4               I will gaze upon the beauty of the Lord forever.
Psalm 27:10             He will never forsake me.
Psalm 34:18             He is near me.
Psalm 45:11              He is enthralled by my beauty.
Psalm 91:14              He rescues me.
Psalm 103:4             He crowns me with love and compassion.
Psalm 107:9             He satisfies my hunger with good things.
Psalm 139:14           I am wonderfully made.
Proverbs 12:25        He cheers my heart.
Proverbs 15:4          I speak words of life to others.
Isaiah 41:18             He makes my wilderness like Eden.
Isaiah 53:4               He bears my pain.
Isaiah 61:3               He gives me a crown of beauty instead of ashes.
Isaiah 61:10             He wraps me in a robe of righteousness.
Isaiah 62:2              He calls me by a new name.
Isaiah 64:8              I am His workmanship.
Jeremiah 1:5           He knows me.
Jeremiah 14:9         I bear His name.
Jeremiah 31:3         He loves me with an everlasting love.
Mark 6:31                He takes me to a quiet place and gives me rest.
John 7:24                He does not judge me by appearances.
John 8:36                He sets me free
Romans 15:7           I am accepted in the Beloved.
2 Cor. 3:16              He sees me as I am.
2 Cor. 4:17              He turns my hardship to glory.
Galatians 5:1          He delivers me.
Ephesians 1:3        He blesses me with every spiritual blessing.
Philippians 3:13     He redeems my past.
2 Thes. 2:16           He gives me hope.
2 Peter 1:3              He gives me everything I need.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

“Wake Up!”

IMG_3015

                                    “You are alive, but you are dead.”   Revelation 3:1

Did you know it’s possible to be alive and dead at the same time? I didn’t understand this myself until I became an “alive” Christian at age seventeen. I was raised in a mainstream denominational church, knew all the Bible stories, and had been baptized and went through confirmation class. I thought I was a good person and Christian destined for eternity with God in heaven. I had no idea I was physically “alive,”, but spiritually “dead.” After I was made aware of my sin, repented, received Christ as my Savior and Lord, saved and baptized again as a knowing adult, my spirit became alive with His and my eyes were opened. For the first time, I realized just how lifeless I had been! But as I have walked with the Lord these past many years since, I have seen how easy it is to slip into old habits and patterns. I had lost my first love with the Lord and become spiritually numb. I need a wake-up call now and then to help me get back on track.

“Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which are about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore, if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.”     Revelation 3:2-3

I’m in an awesome Precepts Bible study group, and we are studying the book of Revelation this year. The first part of the study (Chapters 1-3) is showing us God’s message through Jesus to the seven churches. Each message to each church contains a statement of who Christ is, and a commendation for each church in something they are doing well. As well as a reproof and warning for each, ending with a promise for those who overcome. It is such a timely study considering the turmoil in our world today.

This week’s study on the church of Sardis brought God’s warnings to all of the churches to a stark culmination with His words of “You are alive, but you are dead. Wake Up!!!” Not only was it a wake-up call for the church of Sardis and other churches of the early Christian era, but for churches throughout history, and also for the Church (we believers) today. How many are sitting in the pews on Sunday morning “alive, but dead?” How many are convinced they are believers and yet they are following an empty, religious routine as I was? Their spirits lulled to sleep by worldly pursuits and passions? Just like Kay Arthur said, “Sitting in church doesn’t make you a Christian, any more than sitting in a garage makes you a car.” And what about those who are outside the church? How much more of a warning is this for them? Jesus is coming back and will judge the quick and the dead, and there are no second chances after that (Luke 16:19-31, Acts 17:31, 2 Timothy 4:1).

We have an amazingly forgiving, patient, and loving God. He keeps giving us wake-up calls, warnings, and do over opportunities. He wants everyone to be saved and spend eternity with Him. (2 Peter 3:9) He is preparing His Church for His return and warns that He will come like a thief, and we will not know the hour. (1 Thessalonians 5:2-6.)

So instead of cruising through life thinking, “I’ll deal with my spiritual state later.” Or living by the carefree YOLO (You Only Live Once) ideology, or “I’m a good person, surely I am saved,” mentality – WAKE UP!

_DSC0858“It’s cancer,” was a major wake-up call a few years ago. I was cruising along feeling like things were great, no worries, focused on life and ministry work. I was shocked!

“What do you mean it’s cancer,” I said to myself. “I take good care of myself, eat healthy and exercise. There’s no breast cancer history in my family. How did this happen?”

It shook me to the core and catapulted me into the realization that although we caught it early on, and it was very treatable, I needed to make some major changes in my life. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Looking back I can now see how I had lost my “first love” with Christ. I was in a spiritual desert and had been lulled to sleep in areas of my life. The cancer diagnosis became an avenue for God to build new faith and strength in me. It helped me to trust Him to set me free in areas I was still entrapped in lies, and showed me a depth of His love I had not experienced before. It also brought me in connection with others who helped restore me to better health than I was before the diagnosis. This “wake-up call” drove me to a better place in my relationship with the Lord and others. It also gave me a renewed passion for helping others wake up and embrace their TRUE identity in Christ!

Don’t be like Scarlet O’Hara saying, “Tomorrow is another day.” WAKE UP TODAY! For we do not know the hour of His return.

I’m headed for heaven and I long for everyone to be destined for the same.

For His Glory,
Jennifer

Photos by Jennifer Brommet

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Parenthood

Jen Sophia as baby B-W

As the nurse handed me my newborn daughter, I couldn’t wait to get my precious little bundle home and start life as a new parent. I’d seen the magazine ads. You know, the ones with the new mother in her white flowing gown, holding her sleeping baby as she gazed peacefully out the window? I was looking forward to days filled with moments like that. The hospital nurse warned me that was a myth. Boy, was she right! I was not prepared for the screaming, colic infant, sleepless nights, painful nursing sessions, raging hormones and postpartum depression. I felt like Cruella had taken over my body, and I would never recover. I also felt like a horrible parent. How could this tiny, helpless, eight-pound person so easily drive me to the verge of insanity and tears?

Something I never understood was the fact that you need a license to drive a car, get married, or start a business, but you don’t need one to become a parent. One can go through all kinds of childbirth classes, but they don’t offer many “How to Survive the First Year of Parenthood” classes. They just hand the helpless human over and send you home. I thought much of parenting would be instinctive, and some of it is, but a lot of if is uncharted territory. Especially if you didn’t have it modeled well for you by your parents. (Which, fortunately, for the most part I did, but my mom had passed away years earlier so I couldn’t call her for advice or help.)

 

Family Christmas Photo 2010 Color_0005

My husband and I are two flawed people raising two flawed people. The odds of a good outcome are slim. We’ve made lots of mistakes, and we’ve bumbled our way through at times, giving our girls lots of fodder for future therapy sessions. Dr. Dobson wisely reminded me that my goal as a parent was not for my three-year-old child to like me or be my friend. I had to step up to the plate and be in charge. There would be time to be friends when they were grown. I also became aware of the fact that my children were not a “do over” of my life or for me to feel redeemed through their preferred opportunities or abilities. They are unique masterpieces, with a God-given purpose and plan that is very different than mine.

There is no perfect parent outside of our Heavenly Father. Fortunately, HE has modeled parenting for us well and can give us what we need to do the same with our children. God made these precious ones, loves them even more than we do and knows what’s best for them. It didn’t take long to recognize that the best position to parent from was on my knees. I’ve never prayed so hard or so much as a parent.

 

Girls in London

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.”     Proverbs 23:6

Fast forward almost 25 years, and we are now seeing the fruit of many years of prayer and following God’s guidance, wisdom, and help in raising our two girls. It’s been a perilous journey at times, but the mountaintop experiences far outweigh the valleys. My heart’s desire has always been to introduce them to Jesus, model a faith walk with Him, and for them to fall in love with Him in their own way and time. They are in the middle of that adventure now. Making their faith their own. Discovering the joy and peace of an intimate relationship with Him. I love it when I hear one of them say they prayed about a situation, and they are trusting the Lord to open and close the right doors for them. My heart soars when I see them operating out of their God-given gifting and passion and being affirmed in it. And It gives me no greater joy than to see they know and believe how precious they are in God’s sight, and I see His beauty reflected through them.

Parenting is the most challenging yet rewarding responsibility one can ever have. I’ve loved watching my girl’s transformation from infant to child to young adult. As they have matured, I have too. I’m not the same woman I was that day I brought my firstborn home. As God grows our children, He also grows us, their parents. And now that my girls are out of the nest pursuing their dreams, we are friends. And I am grateful.

For His Glory,
Jennifer

Family photo by Rick Busch

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Earth Suits

JenWe all have this container in which we live and move around the earth. No two are exactly the same. They come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. And just like my car, they wear out with age and require exorbitant amounts of money and special maintenance to
keep them running. They often don’t cooperate and can break down in a moment’s notice. Many have dents, scratches and dings looking like they are stock car race survivors. While others look like they just came off the showroom floor- sleek, shiny, highly polished, and envied.

Our bodies, or “earth suits”, were intricately designed by God for each of us to spend our earthly lives in. We humans worship our earth suits and those of others. We adore those “suits” that are beautiful and attractive, while we tend to disdain those that are not. We spend hours and hours striving to keep the suit looking new and fit knowing a nice “suit” helps the inhabitant go far in life. It opens doors, provides perks and advantages, and helps one attain covetable rewards.

“For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”    1 Samuel 16:7

We earthlings spend most of our time focused on the suit, instead of what the suit contains. It houses our mind, will, emotions and spirit. ALL parts are working together to function well. The mind, will, emotions and physical body will wear out some day, but the spirit will live for eternity. Thus, it seems rational that we should commit a majority of our time tending to that which will live on forever.

The Apostle Paul refers to our earth suit as a temple.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”      1 Corinthians 6:19-20

We need to find the right balance of tending to our earth suit as a treasured gift from God along with using it to glorify Him. How do we glorify God with our bodies? We take care of them, respect them, appreciate them, and use them for our God-given purpose. To bring Him glory and to live with Him forever.

I’m glad my earth suit is a temporary thing that someday I get to exchange for my heavenly body. My suit was damaged from the beginning and has taken a lot of hits over the years. But I am thankful for all the places it’s taken me and all the people I’ve had the joy of meeting and introducing to our Heavenly Father. And although sometimes my suit can dramatically slow me down, I know that God is far more interested in the cherished treasure it is housing – His Holy Spirit and my spirit. Both of which allow me to have an intimate and everlasting relationship with Him!

So take care of your earth suit, but more importantly, tend to what resides within.

For His Glory,
Jennifer

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Everything by Prayer

Everything by Prayer sign
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer
and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”    Philippians 4:6-7

Over the years, as a recovering worrywart, this verse has spoken directly to me over and again as a strong reminder of the cure to this stronghold. It also reminds me of who is sovereign over all things and the reward for trusting in God and taking everything to Him in prayer – peace that surpasses all understanding. It’s not something you can talk yourself into or manufacture yourself. Only God gives this type of peace. A peace that permeates your soul, brings calm to the raging storm, and sets your troubles free. It also guards your heart and your mind – the two areas where worry and anxiousness are birthed and magnified.

As a child in the lap of a comforting parent, I picture climbing up on Jesus’ lap. His reassuring arms around me, I can unburden all that concerns me, knowing He will lovingly take care of it. I can share anything and be in conversation with Him throughout my entire day. Whenever I am uncertain, fearful, frustrated or angry, I go to Him in prayer, pour out my heart and know that it is safe with Him. He understands and will be a shelter in my storm.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”    Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

The other key element of “Everything by Prayer” is learning to go to God FIRST. How often do we try to figure and reason things out and finally, and only, when we reach the end of our rope, we cry out to God and ask for His help? Or make all kinds of plans and then ask God to bless them? He is all-knowing and all-powerful. He knows what’s going to happen this afternoon, six months, or years from now. Seeking His wisdom, insight, and guidance will often alleviate endless frustration of trying to figure things out on my own and making a total mess of it. His understanding is so far above and beyond my limited pea size reasoning or logic. I often go astray when I “lean on my own understanding.” I get ahead of God or step out in my pride, and plans and soon things come crashing down around me. But when I go to Him first, trust Him and allow Him to show me the path I should take, I have peace and joy in knowing I am protected under the umbrella of His perfect will.

“Everything by Prayer” has become the guiding compass of my life as well as for True Identity Ministries (TIM). When others ask me to consider an area of responsibility or key decision, I always tell them, “I will pray about it and let you know.” Since my life is in my Heavenly Father’s hands, I need to consult with Him first. Often He will give the green light to say “Yes,” but sometimes he gives a “No.” Either way, I can move forward with a settled peace, competent that I am in His plan. I’ve learned to pray about everything, including writing this blog. I ask HIM what HE wants me to write each week and then when I sit down at my computer; I pray and ask Him to give me His words. And He does!

It is the same with TIM. Those of us entrusted with the leadership go to Him in prayer about EVERYTHING concerning the ministry. We pray at the beginning of every board meeting, team meeting, or event. We ask the Lord to give us HIS mind, understanding and ideas, and to show us next steps in the things He’s calling us to do. We ask Him to give us unity in spirit, love and compassion for one another and those He’s called us to minister to. We ask for faith to continue to trust in His plans and provision, and we ask Him to set many free in their true identity as we share His true identity message. We find when we start with prayer; God then guides our discussions and decisions. He brings new and creative ideas into the mix and shows us the way we could never have figured out on our own! He reassures us that we hear Him correctly and on the right path. TIM is HIS ministry, and HE knows best.

Let Him be your wings, not just your safety net. Instead of making plans and then asking God to bless them, pray and ask God to show you HIS plans. They are already blessed!

Keep on praying!

For His Glory,
Jennifer

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Waiting Room

The Waiting Room

We all sat in our lovely blue “gowns” as we waited our turn to be called back for our tests. Some sat quietly looking at their phones, others browsing through a magazine, others sitting with their eyes closed. You could cut the air of nervousness with a knife. I looked at each woman in the room and wondered what each was there for. Was today the day they would find out something unusual was present and further tests would be needed? Would they get the dreaded news of cancer? Or did they have a follow-up appointment to get the all clear from recent surgery, treatment or tests? It felt like a game of Russian roulette. Would it be a day of devastating news or cause for celebration? Would you take a bullet or get the all clear? I tried not to focus on my anxiety, wondering if this would be that day I’ve dreaded every time I’ve been in this room – getting the Big C diagnosis. The waiting was excruciating. I was thankful when someone initiated a conversation to help break the heaviness hovering in the room.

That day was three years ago, and I did find out the lump in my breast was not a cyst and I would need a biopsy to determine if it was cancer. It was. Thus began my journey of many more agonizing hours in waiting rooms. Waiting to find out just how serious the issue was, waiting to hear what recent test results showed, or what next steps of treatment needed to be. Then months of follow-up appointments, each time praying and hoping for an all clear report!

I hate waiting rooms. I think most of us do. We spend a lot of our lives in waiting rooms. Waiting for a job interview, for a loved one in surgery, the doctor’s or dentist’s office, or an auto repair shop. All of them places where we are waiting for news that could drastically impact our lives, and most of them situations that are out of our control.

Then there is God’s waiting room. Have you ever been there? Waiting for answers to prayer, direction, provision or understanding? This waiting room can be the most challenging of all.

What is it about the waiting room that makes us so distressed? Is it feeling we are wasting time, anxious to get on to the main event? The unknown? Or is it not being in control and feeling helpless to dictate direction and outcome of a situation? I’ve experienced all of these, and sometimes all at the same time. Waiting can eat you up with worry and fear, or frustration and anger. Since waiting rooms are inevitable in our lives, I knew I needed a new perspective and attitude toward these ominous spaces.

“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”
Romans 8:26-28 (The Message)


I asked the Lord to show me how to experience the waiting room as a place where anxiousness is replaced with trust and peace. A place where I could see the situation through His eyes and indeed, Him at work for good. He showed me that I could pray for each person around me in the waiting room, knowing that most of them were probably experiencing the same turbulence I was. I could pray for those on the other side of the waiting room door, not knowing their current life situations, but knowing God did. I could engage others in conversation to get to know something about them, encourage them, and help alleviate the “waiting room stress.”

Chair by green fieldAnd while in HIS waiting room – to keep my eyes focused on Him and not the waves of the storm swirling around me. To trust that, He is with me and is well aware of my situation. That He loves me and will use the situation for good, even when the initial outcome may be crushing.

“Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.”   Isaiah 40:31

Looking back, I realize I have grown stronger in waiting rooms. I have seen God do amazing things in the time I’ve spent there. It has brought me closer to Him as well as others I may not have connected with otherwise. I have seen others reassured as I shared God’s care for them. He has lifted me up and helped me press on and soar above the most trying situations.

Waiting rooms are still stressful, but I now go into them knowing I can be HIS ambassador there, and He will use it to build others and my faith and for His glory!

Don’t waste your waiting!

Jennifer

Share what helps you in the “Waiting Room.”

Sign up for an email subscription (in the column to the right) and receive automatic email notices of new blog posts! Thanks.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments