Monday, September 27, 2010

Grateful for a Challenge


Way back in January, which seems like a life time ago I issued a challenge to each of us. I wanted us to read God’s word together for 90 days. I had blogged about what I was reading and posting it on our website. I was committed to reading every word in the 90 days. And then my husband got really sick and one of our 14 year olds decided that life on the streets was better than life with a mom and dad who loves him. The storms were beating me to a pulp and I just could not keep up.

So what is different this time around you ask? My husband is still disabled and unable to work and said son is in a Christian treatment center and would rather talk to demons and worship Satan then the Creator. Life can’t stop my friends. As I write this we are moving out of our home that I was so sure I would not leave until I went feet first! God continues to teach me important truths and I can’t stop living and more importantly I can not and will not stop learning the lessons God has for me.

So, I am giving you a heads up. I would really, really like you to join me in reading God’s word in 90 days. I know, it sure seems like a lot of reading in such a short time and you are so right. Yep, I can hear your wheels turning in your brain saying, “no way Jill, are you crazy? I don’t have time to read the Bible in one year let alone 90 days. How can I possible learn anything about God’s word in 90 days? Did I mention I think you are crazy?”

Rest assured my precious friend I am not crazy, well hmmm, I don’t think I am! Reading the Bible in 90 days has great value. You and I will be getting the BIG PICTURE in accepting this challenge. You will see the entire scope of God’s plan. This will NOT be the time to pick out a scripture here and a scripture there, no we are looking at the entire span of humanity. My husband read the Bible three times one year. He used different translations and one of the times he listened to it on CD. He convinced me that there is insight that you get when you read the whole thing from cover to cover. My husband is a very wise man and so I believe him. It will help us see God’s character and plan for His people.

So, I know we are at the end of September but I am just giving you a heads up. There is a hardcover version of the Bible written for those who want to read it from cover to cover here ;
http://www.amazon.com/Bible-90-Days-International-Version/dp/031093351X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1285583319&sr=1-1 Let me assure you though you can use any Bible, this one is just so convenient. It has each day laid out for you and it is thin enough to take it with you to work, to the store and to the doctor’s office. I am so glad I bought one. Think about my challenge and please pray over it and then if you would like to join me please raise your hand J

In Christ Alone
Jill



"Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up"

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Your Very Life


Good morning to each of you. Today is the start of a brand new week. Lately I have been listening to the Old Testament on CD and absolutely loving it. In fact I am ironing more these days because it is the perfect thing to do while I am listening to God’s word. Deuteronomy is a wonderful book. Listen for a minute to these words from Moses.

Moses came and recited all the words of this song in the hearing of the people, he and Joshua the son of Nun. 45 And when Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. 47 For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”
Deut 32:44-47 (ESV)
No idle words for you! Did you catch that? Reading God’s word is important, so important that the words are LIFE to all those who believe.
Do you want to have a successful life? Read God’s word. It is His love letter to YOU and I. There is nothing sweeter that stopping and reading what God has for his people. He wants us to have life and have it abundantly, no matter what.
I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
John 10:9-10 (ESV)
Is something missing in your life today? If so consider cracking the book that contains precious words to heal broken hearts and mend minds that have been sucked into the world. That is a promise you can depend on!



Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Is Jesus Enough?


Precious sister, there is much on my heart tonight. Is Jesus enough? What a question. I was confronted with this concept in the midst of a challenge this week. Perhaps you would be willing to learn along with me?

It all started so innocently. I have been cleaning homes part time for close to 1 ½ years. I love cleaning for my clients. It has been hard to describe why this ministry is such a blessing to me until my sister Robin tagged along. After watching me she told me I get such fulfillment because I love transforming lives and homes. WOW, never thought of it that way. God calls us to be salt and light and I love serving people so it was a perfect fit for me. The money has been wonderful the past months since my husband lost his job. So what is the problem Jill?

Hubby is sick. He has lost his ministry, he has lost his mission, he has lost his ability to provide for his wife and children and now he is losing his home. Moving into your daughter’s home at 52 years of age is a bitter pill to swallow for a man that has always provided for his family. The pain has now gone on for over 18 long months. He wants and he needs his wife to be with him period. Being there when he wakes to help manage 15 different medicines, to help him get out of bed and just to be a support. Sounds like an easy decision doesn’t it? A real no brainer right? WRONG!

Now for the really tough soul searching part. I did not want to quit serving my clients. I had to ask myself why it is so hard to give up cleaning people’s homes when it is crystal clear where I should be. So I made a mental list.
1. I love being joyful and helping others fill a need
2. I love cleaning, strange but true!
3. I enjoy getting a break from being a caretaker
4. I enjoy being able to help the family finances for the first time in 33 years
5. I love sharing God’s love with hurting people
Notice all 5 of those things start with “I”? Hmmm, with each reason to stay God whispered “listen child”. Is it possible that I am not looking at the big picture? Jesus gives me value, not any client no matter how precious they are to me. Jesus can provide every need I have, do I believe that, really believe that? If I do believe that why aren’t I living like I believe Jesus? God says my husband comes before anyone else in this world, even our children. My ministry is my family and this week I have been tested to see if I really believe what I say.

What a tough lesson. Do we really believe that Jesus is our everything? Guess what, the God of the Universe may just ask you to prove it so I would recommend that you give it some thought. Let me close with something Anne Graham Lotz wrote.

“Knowing Jesus is my joy and reason for living.
He is…
The wind beneath my wings,
The Treasure that I seek,
The Foundation on which I build,
The Song in my heart,
The Object of my desire,
The Breath of my live---
He is my ALL in ALL!”

May it be so my precious sister.
Till next time
In Christ Alone,

Jill



"Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up"

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gratituesday

Good morning everyone. Today is the day that we stop and remember what we are thankful for. God is so good to us. It is easy to forget in the midst of our crazy lives to count our blessings.


Today I am so thankful for my baby :) sister Robin. She flew in from Arizona to help me out. What a trooper she has been. She has helped me dejunk and boy she shows no mercy! She reminds me that God is watching over us and we are in His perfect will.


Robin is the funny one in the family. She does really crazy things which makes her nieces and nephews dub her the "cool Aunt Robin" and now she has moved up to the "Great Cool Aunt". She has "fat" parties with her nieces and can find just about anything to laugh about.


God, in your perfect wisdom you have given me the coolest sister. Thank you LORD for blessings me today.


In Christ Alone,

Jill

Monday, September 20, 2010

Don't Forget!



Good morning everyone and Happy Monday! The renovation on the basement apartment is almost ready so things are a bit crazy. I am sure there will be several days when I will miss posting.


Am I the only one that forgets things? I write myself notes, I keep my brain running constantly on a to do list and still I forget. In our family we have two sets of children that we refer to affectionately Team A and Team B. When our daughter turned 16 we adopted a precious little baby boy and then proceeded to adopt 4 more.


We were also heavily involved with foster care at the time for medically fragile babies. Our house was over flowing with munchkins. I had to be very organized when I went anywhere. So one day we were loading up the van and headed for home. We had a habit of calling out names to make sure we had everyone. Well sure enough the one time I didnt call everyones name I forgot one. Sitting at the church not realizing he was left was one son! Our daughter in classic style said this, "Mother, there is a reason women your age do not have babies. You forget where you put them down!" LOL We all forget.


When we read the Bible we learn not only about forgetting but the consequences of forgetting. God's people, his chosen people would forget about him all the time. When the Israelites were ready to cross into the promised land God begged them not to forget how they got there. Listen to Deuteronomy chapter 8


Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, 12 lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, 13 and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, 15 who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock, 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. 17 Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18 You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19 And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. 20 Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God.
Deut 8:11-20 (ESV)


Maybe it is time to put a ribbon around our fingers so that we dont forget!

Think about it. Tomorrow is Gratituesday.

In Christ Alone

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Ultimate Hero of the Faith?


And the winner is……..Mary the mother of Jesus. Would you believe she is not listed in the great hall of faith?
I never realized that till recently. If I had to list the top hero of the faith I would have chosen Mary. Mary, so young, so brave to face the ultimate shame, having a baby before she was married. Can you imagine the stress?

I find it fascinating that the first thing she did was to get out of Dodge! Of course her reason was not to run for running’s sake but to seek wise counsel. Scripture says she “made haste to the hill country” I am sure part of her haste was due to the life altering news she just got. She needed time to get her head together. I want to focus on just who she chose to run to, cousin Elizabeth.

Cousin Elizabeth was a righteous woman. Scripture says she walked blamelessly in all the commandments and statues of the Lord. If I was facing a major crisis in my life I too would want to find the most holy woman I could find and sit at her feet and learn. This is exactly what Mary did. What a wise woman. Mary was at a cross roads in her life and she truly chose “the road less taken”.

Mary had an unusual amount of faith. She had been chosen to not only carry but raise God’s one and only Son, The Messiah. In Bible times that was a sin punishable by death. Yet, God chose her. He had to have seen the traits he was looking for in Mary. Mary spent the first 3 months of her pregnancy learning from Elizabeth.

What a wise choice. We can learn many things from Mary. The first is her reaction to the news. She sought wise counsel. What about us? Do we spend time with the wise women in our lives and learn all we can? OR do we chose the “fools” of the world to confide in? Who we chose to seek advice from tells a lot about ourselves.

I would encourage you to be a great woman of faith, just like Mary and just like Elizabeth.
Till tomorrow.

Blessings


"Let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us"

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Gratituesday Counting My Blessings


Good morning my dear friends. Today is Gratituesday, which means I want YOU to share with ME what you are thankful for this week. Read mine and then click on the comment button and share what YOU are thankful for.

1. I am thankful last week is over :)

2. The construction of our "apartment" is coming right along

3. I have grandchildren all around me which is huge!

4. New medicine for my husband that is helping, thank you Father.

5.Our son and his precious wife are here to help.

6. God is so faithful to walk right with us, carry when necessary.

7. God continues to mold me, chiseling when necessary

8. My sister Robin is coming on Friday, she makes me laugh!

So those are some of my blessings this week, tell me YOURS.

In Christ Alone

Jill

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Satan's Job Description


Happy Monday to each of you. let's get back to our study of strongholds. Remember the description of a stronghold? In Beth Moore's book "Praying God's Word", she says this, "Based on my understanding of Scripture, anything that steals, kills, or destroys the abundant, fruitful life of a believer can be considered a stronghold of the enemy." WOW!



It is Satan's job to destroy life. Listen to 1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." Notice it does NOT say just a little nibble around the edges! No, he is out to swallow us whole. Kind of reminds me of those old National Geographic specials where you watch a lion eat an animal in one fell swoop, not a pretty site.

Sadly though he can also prowl around not even looking ferocious. 2 Corinthians says this, "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light."

Some Christians are asleep on the pew and that makes Satan successful. Each time he gets one of us to not open our Bibles he WINS. Each time we get discouraged and fail to praise the Creator of the Universe, he WINS. Each time he robs us of our joy, he WINS! Each time we want something that we can't afford and we covet, he WINS! How did Jesus conquer Satan in the wilderness when he was so hungry, think about, Jesus used Scripture to win. If we are going to win this battle we are in, and yes we are in a battle then we have to use to one weapon that Satan can't fight back with and that is Scripture.

For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the Lord, and there is no other.
Isaiah 45:18

Tomorrow we are going to talk about remembering, so don't forget to come back!

In Christ Alone,

Jill

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11th

Today is a day to honor all those who lost their lives in New York, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon. For families that were torn apart in an instant.

We live in a country that has now lost it's way. We have forgotten that we were once a Christian nation. It is so easy to forget.

For the lives that were changed forever I offer my sincere condolences. May we as God's people never forget the sacrifice the police, fireman and military people gave. Never forget!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

From My Heart


Good morning to each of you. There are moments in my life when I just have to stop and catch my breath. Life just swirls around me. I have a to do list that never seems to end along with the laundry and ironing!
We move now in less than 3 weeks into our daughter and son in-laws home. This move seems 20 years early. When we first moved into our current home 2 years ago I said they would have to take me out feet first. My dream of living out in the country has been realized and now it is time to move on.
Our daughter has 5 children. Our last 2 teenage sons have already moved out of our home and into theirs. There will be 11 people under one roof. Construction is going well on our basement "apartment".
We are having to walk away from our home. Never in our wildest dreams would I have thought this could happen to us, the ones with the perfect credit scores and wise choices under our belts. I will get to experience the phone calls asking where the mortgage payment is.
That pales in comparison to the change in my husband. With 15 meds now he is not who I married anymore. He just wants the pain to stop. We have now switched roles, my protector is buried under all the pills. Conversations disappear in thin air as if they never happened. My companion is now for the most part gone and I grieve. How long God? How long must we go on like this? Will our circumstances ever change?
Most days I am the strong one. God has blessed me with the courage to move forward and fight for my husband. Today I am weary. This road I am on is long and filled with challenges. Even on my hardest days though I KNOW with every fiber of my being that I am in God's perfect will. The God of the Universe knows when a single sparrow falls. Nothing that is happening is beyond his notice. His hands are holding us up and for today that is enough.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Gratituesday 9/7


Good morning sweet sister. Today is Gratituesday. We take this time each Tuesday to stop and thank God for something very specific that has happened in our lives that we are thankful for.

Our summer has felt like being on a roller coaster. Part of the time hubby and I have been alone. There has been a lot of silence. I have felt like our world has been shrinking. Without a congregation to support us it has been tough.

The other part of the roller coaster is the very touch the sky moments. We have seen old friends this summer. Friends that go waaaaay back! Our dear friends Phil and Marie go back 27 years. They watched our daughter and 2 of our sons grow up. Phil was the official at our daughters wedding, starting it while Rich walked Serenity down the aisle.

These friends share a deep faith in the LORD. Phil and Marie walked with us when David died. We have lots of history with this couple and I adore them. Rich summarized our visit this past weekend as a rescue for him. It is for that reason I am so grateful to the Father today.

What about you? Share with us what you are thankful for.
God Bless
Jill

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Different Kind of Stronghold


We have been talking about the stronghold that Jesus provides for us. We can safely move inside that fortress for protection. He stands right in the middle where the cannon would go to shield us.

I bet you have figured out that there is another kind of stronghold, one that is much different. There is an enemy that has a fortress that has shackles waiting for us. Remember the scripture found in Ephesians 6:10

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 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.”

Satan is powerful and the sooner we put that concept into our brain the better. He is out to destroy our lives. He wants nothing better than to grab one of God’s people. So, he individualizes a stronghold for each of us. For some it is gossip, for some it is jealousy, for some it is bad attitudes. Most of us are not tempted to kill or rob a store. But we sure get tempted to put down another sister or engage in “foolish talk”.

Tomorrow I am going to talk about some of Satan’s strongholds. Spend some time thinking about them.
Till tomorrow.
In Christ Alone,
Jill




"Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up"

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Waiting and Waiting and Waiting some more


Good morning and Happy Wednesday to each of you. I wonder just how many of us has had to wait a very long time for something that you know is supposed to happen but hasn’t? Waiting is hard for us, especially Americans. We have the waiting power of a flea! When everything else is instantaneous why wait for anything!

Poor Simeon. Here was a godly man. God had promised him that he would not die till God had shown him face the face the Messiah. Did he spend every waking moment thinking about God’s promise? Did he ever get impatient waiting? Scripture doesn’t say.

I wonder if he got up each morning thinking, “I wonder if today is the day”? I wonder if he ever got impatient with God and said something like Tevia did in the classic movie, Fiddler on the Roof, “Today would be a good day LORD”
Here is the real deal. Simeon was a man who KNEW how to wait on the Lord.

“Those who wait on the Lord will gain new strength, they will mount up with wings of eagles, they will run and not grow weary the will walk and not grow faint” Isaiah 40:31

In Luke chapter 2 we get the story of not only Simeon but Anna as well. Both were actively waiting to see the Messiah. Anna spent her days and nights in the temple waiting. Simeon was a man who walked blameless before God. He was righteous, which means in today’s language, his relationship was right with the Lord. Try to picture Jesus who is now a mere 8 days old. Simeon sees him and takes him in his arms and says this to God for all to hear.

“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”

Simeon could now depart in peace. I can imagine shortly thereafter he closed his eyes and went to be with the Father. I don’t know how you feel about that but I want to depart in peace. I want my life to be so right with the Father that I can truly say I am waiting for the Lord with peace. I don’t want to live a life where I am wringing my hands in impatience. Or worse, giving up my faith in the Father because I am having to wait too long for the reward.

Never, never grow weary waiting for the Lord. In His perfect time he will fulfill every promise he has made.
Both Simeon and Anna are proof of that.

Till tomorrow may God’s richest blessings help you to wait on the Lord.




"Let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us"