Archive | July, 2012

Longing for eternity

6 Jul

You know, I’ve grown up in a Christian home and served God as long as I can remember. I’ve always believed in heaven and heard it described as “streets of gold” and the whole shebang.

But not until this year, my 21st year on this planet, have I known what it means to long for eternity. To no longer care for the desires of this world and to only want to sit at the feet of Jesus.

It hit me earlier this week as I sat in my car listening to KLOVE Radio on my lunch break at work. I was having a super tough day and decided that instead of going shopping on my lunch hour, I was going to just rest and allow myself to be encouraged by KLOVE. Then, “I Can Only Imagine” by MercyMe came on the radio. I have to admit that I’ve heard this song literally hundreds of times since it first came out many moons ago. But this time it was different. I just sat there and listened closely. And I started to cry.

Truthfully, this feeling–this longing for eternity and desperation for Jesus–often results from going through difficult times on this earth. But I think we’re blessed when we learn that longing and when we learn that this world is not our home. Something greater is ahead. It puts everything into perspective. And it teaches us perseverance as we “count it all joy” when we face trials. (You know I’m gonna reference James 1 every chance I get!)

I pray someone finds hope and comfort in this today…

Jen

A godly father is…

5 Jul

One who is loving.

One who is kind.

One who is wise.

One who is selfless.

One who is faithful.

One who is patient.

One who never stops working.

One who is Christlike.

One who is teachable.

One who teaches.

One who serves as a future-husband model.

One who, “[Does] not provoke [his] children to anger, but bring[s] them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)

And, if you’re me….he’s one who is awfully funny.

That’s a godly father. That’s my father.

Dad (looking at my new wedge sandals): “Do you know why nude shoes are so popular? Kate Middleton. Just read it in a Comcast headline.”

Uh-huh.

Jen

“I hate being single” = “I don’t trust God”

4 Jul

It’s honesty hour.

Sometimes our culture just grieves me.

It’s relationship-focused and sex-driven. It’s disgusting. (I obviously don’t feel like sugarcoating today.)

What really bothers me is that I have seen and heard about so many people in my generation who absolutely abhor singleness (and even abstinence), as if it’s some sort of disease, disorder or curse.

But let’s just stop for a moment. Have you ever realized that singleness can be a blessing from God? If you’re single and reading this right now, are you willing to let God work in you, refine you and make you into the person you’re called to be (which, ya know, could be someone’s future spouse)? ‘Cause singleness is a great time for letting God move in your life and grow you spiritually. But you have to stop holding onto the mindset that our world thrusts upon us, which sounds a little bit like this: “I only have value if I am loved by someone else.” It’s a lie. The truth is, you are loved by God. That alone gives you value.

So honestly? I think singleness can be a gift. An absolute blessing, if we can simply trust God enough to let go. Long story short, to me, “I hate being single” is equal to the statement, “I don’t trust that God has very personally written my love story before I was ever born.” After all, God wrote each one of our days before one of them ever came to be (Psalm 139), so if your story includes marriage…well, God’s gonna handle that. Stop worrying.

And truthfully, if you’re running after every attractive person that crosses your path in an effort to cure yourself of loneliness, it may be true that you’re only looking to satisfy your own desires, which isn’t a great recipe for success when it comes to relationships. Nope. The Word tells us that love is selfless:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

So I encourage you to start learning selfless love now. Start with loving your neighbor as yourself.

And one more thing.

Single does not equal unhappy. In fact, there can be a whole lot of joy in it when our focus is on Christ. And hey, it’s okay to get on your knees and pray for a future spouse. And wait patiently for them, if indeed that’s what the Lord has in store for you. In fact, I encourage it!

Be blessed today, especially all you single ladies (and gents).

Jen

When you feel your weakest…

3 Jul

…put on the armor.

It’s not a cheesy children’s church song. It’s the Word of God.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” (Ephesians 6:10-18)

Jen

Sweet reminder for the really hard days

2 Jul

Sometimes it feels like I’m watching from the outside
Sometimes it feels like I’m breathing but am I alive?
I won’t keep searching for answers that aren’t here to find

All I know is I’m not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong

So when the walls come falling down on me
And when I’m lost in the current of a raging sea
I have this blessed assurance holding me.

All I know is I’m not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong

When the earth shakes I wanna be found in You
When the lights fade I wanna be found in You

All I know is I’m not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong

(Where I belong – Building 429)

Be blessed today… God is with you always.

Jen

Pushing on a pull door? Or trusting, listening, surrendering?

1 Jul

Where are you today?

Where is your security, your happiness, your hope?

Where does it lie? On what does it depend?

Are you fully, 100 percent, with all your heart, surrendered to God, trusting him and his ready to accept his will for your life, whatever it may mean? Or are you, as For King and Country puts it, “Pushing on a pull door”?

Check out this song…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44fYPcZUuHM

Jen