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Archive for the month “September, 2010”

I Am Worth It

Lately I have felt the Lord impressing upon me to start a ministry that reaches out to young girls who are hurting, lost, feeling worthless, making poor life decisions, and that are just in need of someone in their lives that will show them real love. I have had this impression before, but I wasn’t really sure of how to go about doing it and wasn’t sure if I could do it. But again I feel the Lord urging me to reach out. I have a heart for this because it is something that I know to be very real, as I once was this young girl. I won’t go into all the details, but let me take just a few moments to share a bit of my story.

I grew up in a Christian home, with a Mom, a Dad, a sister, and a brother. My parents divorced when I was 4 years old, and my mother remarried when I was 7 years old. My Mom taught us a lot about Jesus and His love, and she took us to church and Sunday school. I believed in God, and loved Jesus, but I didn’t really commit to living for Him until I was a young adult. During my teenage years, I didn’t have the best self-esteem (although if you were to ask the teenage Jaclyn, she would probably tell you different). I was insecure about myself and who I was. I wanted to be loved and liked by others, so I put on a lot of fronts. I had boyfriend after boyfriend. I had a smart mouth was quick to fire off at any given time. I had walls that were quick to go up if I felt that I might get hurt, and I was easily influenced by my surroundings. I gave myself away, and I didn’t even try to stand firm in the “real Jaclyn.” The “teenage Jaclyn” was whoever she felt that the person she was with wanted her to be. That lead to a lot of hurt, destructive ways, and emptiness. I made a lot of poor life decisions, and some have caused a lot of hurt in my life even after my teen years. I have a lot of emotional scars that are a result of these poor life decisions.

It wasn’t until a couple of years after giving birth to my daughter that I really gave myself over to Christ. My life hasn’t been the same since. He has made me new, and He has shown me what real love is. Real love is not found in doing anything to keep a boyfriend. It is not found in putting yourself to the side so that you can be who you feel that your surroundings want you to be. Real & true love is found in Jesus Christ. I found that the void in my life that I was trying so desperately to fill with boys, drugs, alcohol, attitude, and other destructive things could only be filled with Jesus. Jesus was what I was missing in my life. (There is a huge difference in believing in Him & really surrendering your life to Him.)

This is so very near to my heart, because I know what it feels like to be the girl who doesn’t really know who she is. I know what it’s like to be the girl who will do & try anything just to fit in and feel accepted. I know what it’s like to cry in your secret place, because you don’t like who you are becoming. I know what it’s like to want to know what real love is, but looks for it in all the wrong places. I know what it’s like to hurt inside, and yet put on a happy face on the outside. 

I also know what it’s like to experience a love like no other. I know what it’s like to find the place where you belong. I know what it’s like to be able to feel secure in who you are. I know what it’s like to be able to let go of the old self and embrace the new self. I know what it’s like to receive grace and mercy. I know these things now, because Jesus Christ revealed Himself to me. He took a hold of me & my life, and He hasn’t let go. He is continually doing a good work in me, and He is continually showing me what real love is.

I want to share this with young girls who still haven’t experienced the love of Christ. I want them to know how precious & valuable they are to Him. They have worth, and they are loved. There is redemption, grace, mercy, hope, and love in Christ. I want them to know that they don’t have to throw away who they are, just for the sake of feeling accepted. True acceptance is found in Christ. 

So, I share all this to also share that I formed a group on Facebook called “I Am Worth It.” This is a place where girls can share their hurts, pain, frustrations. A place where they can be encouraged and loved. A place where they can hopefully see the love of Christ, and know they are worth it. There is no hurt too much for Him. There is no darkness too dark for Him. And there are no limits to how far He will go to reach us. We are all precious to Him, and He wants to lavish us with His love.

“…You are of more value than many sparrows.” ~Luke 12:7


It’s Ok to Be Me……The Me that God Wants Me to Be

This morning I was reading my morning devotional, and it was taken from 1 Samuel 8:1, 3-7, 9-10, 19-22. This is where the Israelites ask, actually demand, Samuel to find them a king. Samuel’s sons had been set up as judges over the people, but they had turned out to be corrupt, so the Israelites were wanting a king. This saddened and disappointed Samuel, and so Samuel cried out to God. To Samuel’s surprise God told him to do what the people wanted and find them a king. God told Samuel that it wasn’t him they were rejecting, but the Israelites were actually rejecting God. God also instructed Samuel to warn the Israelites of how the king would behave. The Israelites did not care about the warning from God and still insisted on getting a king. But the Israelites motives were all wrong. 

So Samuel told them, delivered God’s warning to the people who were asking him to give them a king…But the people wouldn’t listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We will have a king to rule us! Then we’ll be just like all the other nations. Our king will rule us and lead us and fight our battles.”  (1 Samuel 8:10, 19-20 The Message)

“Then we’ll be just like all the other nations.” That’s why the Israelites wanted a king. They wanted to be just like everyone else. They didn’t want to be different. They didn’t want to have people on the outside looking at them and thinking they were weird because they weren’t like all the other nations. They wanted to blend in and not stand out.

How many of us have ever felt this way? I know I have, and as my devotion probed me to ponder on if I felt more like Samuel or more like the Israelites, it hit me that I was more like the Israelites (much to my disliking and hoping it wasn’t true). People in the ministry, I think, can relate to what I am saying. Being in the ministry does make you stand out (not in a proud and spotlight superstar kind of way). Being in the ministry does make you different. People don’t always know how to interact with people in the ministry. Some people feel intimidated by people in the ministry. Some people feel they have to act and behave in a certain way, that is not being themself, when they are around someone who is in the ministry. Where does that leave someone in the ministry? Felling awkward, ostracized, and alone.

I know I have, at times, felt left out, awkward, and alone due to being called into the ministry. I have felt like the Israelites and just wanted to be like everyone else. I have felt like I don’t want to be different. I don’t want to stand out. I just want to be able to be like “normal” people (whatever that is). I find it difficult sometimes to be in the ministry and to be a pastor’s wife. I feel that other people are thinking, “Don’t get close to her, she’s the pastor’s wife.” Or, “We can’t invite her to join us for such and such, because then we can’t be ourselves and have fun. Because you know she doesn’t cut up or let loose, she’s in ministry.”

As I really started to think about this during my devotion time, I thought to myself that I am who God wants me to be. I am where God wants me. I don’t really want to be anything or anyone else. I want to be who God wants me to be, and be where He wants me. If it means that I stand out, or that I’m different from “all the other nations” then so be it. God reminded me that it is ok to be me. He loves me, the me that He has created me to be. He doesn’t want me to be like everyone else (how boring would that be if everyone was just alike).  God has created each of us unique and different for a reason. Each of us has a different purpose than the other, and God did that on purpose. God likes creativity, and if everyone was just like everyone else then there would be no creativity.  As Christians (regardless of if we are called into the ministry or not) are called to be different. We aren’t suppose to look like the world. We are supposed to stand out from the rest of the world. We should embrace being different and rejoice at the fact that we aren’t “like all the other nations.” It’s ok to be different. It’s ok to be who you are and not be like everyone else.

Sometimes being different can be awkward and it can be lonely, but we must remember that our God will never leave us nor forsake us. He is always with us, so we are never alone. You know when we are like everyone else we cheat ourselves out of the life God has planned for us. We actually settle for less when you strive to be like “all the other nations.” In John 10:10 Jesus tells us that He came so that we might have life, and have it abundantly. An abundant life is one that is different. It is a life where someone is ok with being who they are, being who God wants them to be.

The challenge today is for each of us to embrace who we are. Embrace where God has us. Rejoice in the fact that we are different. And to seek to live life abundantly by being who we are in Him.

Investing in Others

Last night I taught on Chapter 7 of Crazy Love and spoke a lot on how important it is to invest ourselves in the lives of other people. Far too often we get so absorbed in our own lives that we fail to see the need in other people’s lives. Our needs and wants become so large to us, that the needs and wants of others is no longer visible to us. Or, we just plain out choose not to notice. We write people off, whether it is because they have hurt us, we don’t have time, or because we are too embarrassed to be seen with them. How disturbing is this? Jesus wasn’t embarrassed to be seen with the outcasts of the world. He didn’t write off the people who hurt Him. He didn’t deem His time too valuable to get involved with people. No, He gave of Himself every chance He got. Jesus gave of Himself constantly. Yes, there were times where He slipt away to have alone time with God, but after that time He put Himself back in the lives of others. How many times do we see in Scripture where Jesus was serving others? Jesus lived His life in such a way that there is no way of denying His love for people. He loved ALL people. He invested in the lives of others. We, as Christians and believers in Jesus Christ, are called to do the same. We are called to live our lives in such a way that there is no denying our love for people. 

1 John 3:16-20 (The Message)

 16-17This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear.  18-20My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. 

Welcome the Interruptions

I was reading in Christine Caine’s book The Core Issue, and in the last part of the book she has a 31 day devotional exercise. Today I read Day 30th, Be: Interruptible.

“People are not an interruption in our lives; they are why we’re here.”

Christine points out how many of us have days where we plan out everything. We create an agenda for the day, and we seek to accomplish everything on our agenda. We don’t have time for anything that is not listed on our agenda. Anything outside of our agenda is seen as an interruption, including people. I can’t tell you how many times I have rolled my eyes, sighed, mumbled under my breath when I have been in “the zone” and something or someone has interrupted me. (I don’t take interruptions very well while in “the zone.”) But how many times have we brushed off and missed out on tremendous blessings & ministry opportunities all because we couldn’t be interrupted?

In this day’s devotional the suggested scripture reading is Mark 5:21-42. This is where Jesus is asked by Jairus to come and heal his sick daughter, and while Jesus is on his way a hemorrhaging woman grabbed his robe and caused Jesus to stop.

 21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered round him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet23 and pleaded earnestly with him, My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live. 24 So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him.25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years.26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak,28 because she thought, If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed. 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.30 At once Jesus realised that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, Who touched my clothes?31 You see the people crowding against you, his disciples answered, and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me? 32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.34 He said to her, Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.35 While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. Your daughter is dead, they said. Why bother the teacher any more?36 Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, Don’t be afraid; just believe.   37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James.  38 When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly.39 He went in and said to them, Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep. 40 But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, Talitha koum! (which means, Little girl, I say to you, get up!)  42 Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.

After reading the passage of scripture, the devotional prompted me to answer the question, “What happened when Jesus allowed Jairus to interrupt His meeting?” I was struck by the fact that MIRACLES HAPPENED! Yes, miracles happened when Jesus accepted interruption. Jesus didn’t roll his eyes, let out a big sigh, or mumble under His breath. No, He graciously accepted the interruption and went where He was needed. If we thought about “interruptions” like this, imagine what the world would be like. Imagine how many miracles could take place! Man, the possibilities are endless & astonishing! Jesus has placed in this world to be servants to others. We are to look out for others and ask ourselves, “What can I do to bring a miracle into their life?” Yes, we can bring miracles into people’s lives. We just have to be willing to be interrupted.



“So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love…Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.”~1 Corinthians 13:7 & 13, The Message)

LOVE  is an amazing thing! It is what makes the world go round! In Chapter 6 of Crazy Love Francis Chan uses an exerpt from John Piper’s book God is the Gospel.

“The critical question for our generation–and for every generation–is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you have ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasure you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natrual disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?”

As I read this and thought on how absurd it would be to want heaven without wanting Jesus, I was struck with another thought. Could someone go through life having all of the finer things, the greatest wealth, the most success, the biggest car, the nicest house, and be satisfied with life, if they never expereinced love? If someone didn’t know what it meant or felt like to give or receive love, could life be satisfying to them? I would like to think the answer would be, “No!”

God is LOVE and to know God is to know LOVE. When we experience the love of Jesus Christ in our lives, then we also experience true LOVE. Once we know what true LOVE is and feels like, we can’t help but express it in our everyday lives. We are called to be a people of LOVE. We are to experience it, share it, show it, give it, receive it, & live it! LOVE is an incredible gift, and when God sent His Son Jesus to earth, God sent His LOVE. So, let’s share LOVE today and everyday to evryone around us!

Run as Fast as You Can…….Into the Battlefield

So this morning I was reading my morning devotional, and it was like a big smack in the face. It was like God was saying,”Open your eyes and see that you are meant to be My warrior, and warriors do not retreat! Go into the battlefield & prepare for battle. You are not meant to stay in a tranch or a hide-away. You are called to be on the front lines, so that My Kingdom can prevail!” Wow! All of us as the believers & followers of Christ are WARRIORS! We are not called to be timid or to be cowards. We are not suppose to tuck our tails and high tail it out of there when the going gets tough. No! We are a chosen people, set apart in Christ! We are to be bold & courageous for the Kingdom of God. The world can be a very scary place, especially when it seems as if the enemy is gaining foothold. But you know the enemy only gains foothold where we fail to bring Christ, and if we retreat from the world then how can Christ be brought as the light? We cannot shine the light of Christ into a dark world from our closets or from the comfort our homes (unless we are bringing unbelievers into our home to share Christ with). We have to go out into the world, even as scary as it is, and shine!  Scripture tells us that we are to be in the world but not of the world.

14I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17Sanctify[a] them by the truth; your word is truth. 18As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. (John 17:14-18)

Jesus says in verse 18, “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” How plainer can you get? Jesus has sent us into the world to be His light, to be the example & expression of Christ to the world. Christ prays that God will protect us as we go out into the world. He doesn’t pray for God to remove us from the world & set us in a bubble world. How can we go & make disciples of all the nations, if we have retreated from the world & hidden away in our own bubble? We can’t! 

Being a Christian is not about the things that we don’t do, but it is about the things that we should do. Just because we may not drink, party, curse, partake of drugs, watch R rated movies does not make us Christians. And just because we wear Christian t-shirts, put Christian bumper stickers on our cars, listen to Christian music, and hang out with only Christian people does not make us true Christians.( I am not saying that you aren’t a Christian is you choose not to partake in some activities, or if you choose to listen to nothing but Christian music.) If we are not sharing Christ with others then we are not obeying Christ, we are not being the expression of Christ. Jesus went to the sinners, the prostitutes, the drunkards, and the glutens. He went to those that were considered “not holy enough,” and He brought hope, freedom, & love. He showed grace & mercy, without condemning anyone.

We need to remember that “our struggle is not against enemies of blood & flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of thsi present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” (Ephesians 6:13)  We need to suit up as the body of Christ and run as fast as we can into the battlefield, so that darkness doesn’t prevail. We don’t need to let the enemy gain any foothold by retreating into the trenches & hide-aways. We need to be like David, and run out swinging proclaiming to the enemy, “I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This very day the Lord will deliver you  into my hand, and I will strike you down…” (1 Samuel 17:45-46) There are people in the world who are counting on us to bring the freedom, the hope, and the love of Christ to them so that they can be set free from the enemy. So my challenge to all of us as the body of Christ is to suit up & let’s prepare for battle! We are warriors of the Most High God!

Thank God for The Strawberry Shortcakes in Life

The past few days I have thought about how wonderful it be to have some strawberry shortcake. To taste the juicy strawberries with the yummy cake topped off with a cool dab of whip cream, I thought would be the most wonderful thing. I don’t know if it was due to the thought of everyone grilling out & having BBQs for Labor Day, or maybe it was just the craving for something that I had not enjoyed in quiet sometime. Whatever the reason was,  I wanted this delicious dessert! Last night we get to church for the meal, and what do my eyes spy? STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE! There is a homemade pound cake, strawberries, and whip cream. I thought I was going to pass out! As I finished my supper, I quickly made my way over to the strawberry shortcake. As I sat down & began eating it I looked over to my husband and said, “You  know how I have been saying that I wanted some strawberry shortcake? Well, God heard me & He answered me.” Brian laughed and replied, “So, it’s like manna from the sky?” “Exactly!,” I replied back.

This got me thinking on how God promises in His word, “Ask, and it will be given you….” (Matthew 7:7) Then in John 16:24, “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete. Even though I was joking around about the strawberry shortcake being like manna from the sky, I was struck by this reminder of how God provides & cares for us. God promises to provide for us, all we have to do is ask. Now I am not saying that that means that we should ask God to help us win the lottery and expect to hit the big numbers. I am saying that we are to trust that our needs will be provided for us. God will meet our needs. All we have to do is ask & trust Him.

I shared a couple of blogs back about how my mind had been consumed with thoughts that were causing me to stress, freak out, and become anxious. Well, those thoughts started creeping back in last night, and I think God was reminding me of His care for me through that strawberry shortcake. I know that sounds funny and a bit out there, but hear me out. I had been wanting this dessert and had already come to the conclusion that I wasn’t going to enjoy it any time soon, and then I get to church and there it was! Have you ever thought about things you need or wanted, and then there it was (maybe not immediately, but you still recieved it)? Think about how many times you’ve prayed to God and told Him that you just didn’t know how you were going to pay your bills, buy groceries, or come up with the fee money needed for school or an event. Then somehow your bills were paid, you were able to buy groceries, and that fee was taken care of. How many times have you prayed to God about a possible job, and either you got the job or God revealed to you a better way? God works in mysterious ways, and sometimes we fail to see that. Sometimes we need reminding of His faithfulness and how He provides for us, and so we get a “strawberry shortcake” sent our way. I look at the strawberry shortcake as a reminder to me of His faithfulness. God will never leave His children unprovided for or uncared for. I pray that we thank God for the “strawberry shortcakes” in our lives.

The Faith of the Centurion

We have all heard the term, “faith,” spoken in one way or another. Whether we hold dear to our hearts & have be a vital part of our everyday lives, or if we just think of as another word, is entirely up to us. Faith though is something that IS a vital part of our lives (or at least it should be). You know it takes “faith” to get out of bed in the mornings. It takes “faith” to sit on your couch and trust that it will hold you up. It takes “faith” to drive a car. Faith is required for us to function each day. But how well are we aware of the power of faith? I was reading my morning devotion this morning, and I was directed to read Matthew 8:5-13. This is the story of how Jesus healed the centurion’s servant.

5When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6“Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.” 7Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.”

 8The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

 10When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

 13Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that very hour.

What a powerful passage of sccripture. We see that the centurion’s servant was healed due to the FAITH of the centurion. WOW! Many times in the Bible we read of how Jesus healed people and He said to them, “Your faith has healed you.” I believe that should let us know just how important faith is in our lives. It is so easy for us to lose sight of our faith in Christ when our life circumstances seem a bit overwhelming & discouraging. But you know our circumstances are not bigger than Jesus! Remember Peter walking on the water to Jesus? He was walking on the water without any problems, even though there was a storm all around him, until he took his focus off of Jesus & placed it on the surrounding storm. His faith in Christ was thrown to the side, when he saw the storm as being the biggest thing around him. We are guilty of doing this too. Financial struggles, broken relationships, job insecurities, poor health, and many other discouraging life circumstances can take our focus off of Christ & cause us to lose the faith in Christ that we are called to have. The wonderful thing though is that Christ never leaves us. Even during our times of stress & frustration, while we are cyring out to God asking Him why He has abandoned us, He is STILL WITH US. He never leaves us, but we forget that when we begin to focus too intensely on our life circumstances.

I want to have the faith that the centurion had in this passage. Without hesitation he responded by telling Jesus all it would take would be Jesus speaking the words of healing over his servant without having to be in the house with the servant! The centurion knew that Jesus could heal his servant, & he had FAITH that Jesus would heal his servant. Scripture tells us that Jesus was amazed at the faith of the centurion. I want Jesus to be amazed at my faith. Don’t you want to have the kind of faith that amazes Jesus?

Take Courage

The past few days my mind has been filled with tons of different things that have caused me to stress out, freak out, and become anxious.  Sometimes I couldn’t even shut my brain off for a breather. My thoughts were taking over, and it was making me very pleasant to be around (being honest here). I was forming solutions to my anxieties in my mind (which is never a good thing) and was totally leaving God out of the solution. (OMG! Did the pastor’s wife just say that?) Yes, she did. Now, I was telling God about all the things swirling through my mind and letting Him know of the solutions that I was forming, but I was not asking Him about the swirling thoughts or asking Him to just take my anxieties. Last night we had our last evening of our Youth Conference with Duke Underwood. He spoke on David & Goliath, and how we all have giantsin our lives that we need to let God kill. He talked about how David was not the one that Samuel was expecting to annoint as king. As I listened to Duke preach, I felt the Lord was speaking to me through Duke. God was telling me that those swirling thoughts were “giants” that I needed to hand over to Him too kill. He was confirming my calling, by allowing me to listen & hear the story of David afresh. I felt a peace come over me, and decided that God could have my stress, my anxiety, and my freaking out. I also decided it was time for to stop trying to come up with solutions, because all the solution I needed is found in Jesus Christ! And finally, I decided it’s time to stop hopping & skipping around what God has called me to do, even if I am unsure of how I am going to go about getting started. God has all of that firgured out, and He knows that it may prove to have some struggles along the way. But He is faithful! Oh how He is faithful! Time and time again He has proven His faithfulness to me. I realized that during the past few days, I was looking at things trhough my eyes and not looking with His eyes. He sees so much more clearly than we could ever see! I was reminded of a passage of scripture that He has given me before, and I claim this passage of scripture in my ministry.

1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea [a] on the west. 5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:1-9)

I believe that the Lord has brought this passage back to mind to remind me of how faithful He is, and that He is going to equip me for my calling.  I am not going to freak out about things. I am going to give it to the One who gives me life, who is my Life! He has called me to great things, and now it’s time to take courage & know that “God will be with [me] wherever [I] go.”

Loved Just Because

I am sure we all have heard that Jesus loves us, but have we really taken the time to think on that? JESUS LOVES US! Jesus doesn’t have to love us, but He CHOOSES to love us. How amazing is that? John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” This verse is probably the most well known verse of the Bible, but I am not sure that we take the time to take it to heart. We may know it with our minds, but do we really know it with our hearts? I was reading during my devotion time yesterday and was struck with this statement, “God loves me purely, totally, and unconditionally–simply because He made me and is my Father.” God loves me for no other reason but because He made me, and because He loves me He made me. WOW! The God who created all of creation loves me, and out of His love for me He created me!  God loves me for me! I don’t have to be anyone different, I can just be me! That is so comforting to know that God loves me, and doesn’t want me to be anybody else but me. He may want me to make better choices at times, but He still wants me to be me. God wants the same for you, for all of His children. He created each of us as we are, and He doesn’t want us to be anybody but us. And get this, we don’t have to jump through hoops, perform some awesome stage performance, or do any tricks to gain His love. His love is FREE! All we have to do is trust in Him & believe in Him. We don’t have to earn His love, because we already have it. We are loved by Him just because! That, my friends, is the most amazing thing to me! God is so awesome!

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