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Archive for the month “October, 2010”

Everything that He Did!


Yesterday afternoon I turned on the TV as I began to prep for supper. I decided to leave it on Dr. Phil (even though I had already missed half the episode), and then went back into the kitchen to continue on my supper preparing. I finally got the chicken prepped in placed in the oven, and so I sat down in my big comfy chair to watch the last bit of Dr. Phil. The episode was about domestic violence, and Dr. Phil has different women on the show to share their stories. It was heart wrenching to hear what all these women had endured, and some were still living in fear of their lives. As the episode came to an end, I decided I would find something else to watch (as I did not care to watch Oprah interview Ted Turner & Jane Fonda), and settled on watching Joyce Meyer. As I tuned in there was Joyce sharing her testimony. She was sharing how she had been abused physically, emotionally, mentally, and sexually during her childhood. I thought, “Ok God, what are you trying to get me to see here? Both programs that I have decided to tune into today have been focused on abuse.” ( I am an analyzer to some degree, and try to connect things at times.) So then my mind began focusing on what I have been feeling the Lord impress upon on me for the past few months. I have felt him impressing this upon me before, but I didn’t really know what to do with it at the time. I shared a few blogs back that I had started a group on FB called “I Am Worth It.” This group was birthed out of what I feel God leading to me do at this time. This group is geared toward helping girls/women who struggle with their self-worth. Issues from abuse, sexual promiscuity, depression, etc. are topics that are to be discussed. This is a group where girls/women can feel free & safe to share their struggles, hurts, & pains. A place where they can receive hope, encouragement, and love.

Well forming that group is only part of the plan that God has for me. I feel that God is calling me to reach out to these girls & women. He is calling me to help them & share with them that there is hope & that they are loved. He is calling me to go all over speaking & sharing with these girls & women. I am still not all that sure of how I will do this, but I do know that if God has called me to this then it will happen! So, I took seeing those two shows yesterday, as God confirming His plan for me. I took it as His way of saying, “Jaclyn this is what I want you to do.”

You see, this is something that is near to my heart. I didn’t suffer anything as horrific as what Joyce went through or what some of those women on Dr. Phil went through, but I do know what it means to be emotionally beat down to the point of losing yourself. I know what it feels like to have no self-respect for yourself because you aren’t sure of your self-worth. I know what it is like to give yourself away, and feel as if you are stuck in quicksand. But I also know what it is like to have a God who will fight for you. I know what it is like to be rescued by a Father who loves you more than anything else in the whole world. I know what it’s like to have a Savior who will redeem you from all the dark smut that once covered your life. I know what it’s like to receive the hope, healing, & love of a Savior who gave His life for you because He said, “You are worth it!”

This is not something that is easy for me to share, but it is something that God is calling me to do. God is not calling me to share my story so that I can be made to be in the spotlight or so that other people can have pity on me. No, He is calling me to share my story so that other people who may find themselves in these situations can see that there is hope, that they are loved, and so that HE (GOD) can be glorified.

I was delivered from the darkness that had a hold on me, but it was by nothing that I did. It was EVERYTHING that He did!

“For freedom Christ has set us free. “Galatians 5:1

The Road Not Taken


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth. Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same. And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I– I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. ~Robert Frost

My sister had posted this poem on her FB page, and so I decided to share it with others. This is one of my favorite poems. Being an English major, I have to read lots of poems, short stories, plays, sonnets, novels, etc., but this poem was one of the one reads that I enjoyed. This poem has a way of grabbing the attention of the reader, as well as challenging the reader.

As a Christian I believe that we can learn a lot from this poem. I believe that the Christian walk isn’t the same as the world’s walk, and therefore when we choose to walk the Christian path then we are choosing the path that is less traveled on. Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14 NIV)

So, even though there may not be but a “few that find it,” I pray that we will boldly choose to take the road less traveled for it truly does make all the difference.

A Place to Belong


I have decided that I will read from the Psalms each day, and I have found great blessing in doing so. I have devotionals that I could go through (and I do on occasion), but there is something so amazing from reading straight from the word & just allowing God to pour & speak into your life from His Word. This morning I read Psalm 99, Psalm 100, & Psalm 101. Psalm 100 stuck out to me.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing. Know that the Lord is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Verse 3 and verse 5 really grabbed me. “We are his, we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” “For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” What awesome words, promises! God calls us HIS people, sheep of HIS pasture. Then He goes on to promise his love will last FOREVER & that his faithfulness is for ALL people! How awesome is that? To know that God thinks of us as His own, and that He promises to never snatch his love from anyone? And then to know that his faithfulness is for everyone & every generation? There is not going to come a time that God will stop offering his love, or when he will no longer be faithful. No, God’s love will be always & his faithfulness will be always!

This is so comforting to me, to know that I am God’s, and that He will always love me & always be faithful to me! We live in a world that is quick to turn its back on us. The love that comes from the world is limited, and its faithfulness is almost non-existent. The world will not claim us, unless we are giving something to benefit it. So, I find it very comforting to know that God is the same, yesterday, today, & forever, and that His love & faithfulness will always be.

 It is also very comforting to know that I have a place that I belong. God calls me his own. I am a sheep of his pasture. There is no need for me to question if I have a place to belong, because God has said in his word that I belong to him. I am his! He will not turn his back on me. He will not offer me his love on certain conditions. He will be who he is at all times, and He will pour out his love upon me always.

I pray that you have found comfort in these promises as well. If you are questioning if you are loved, or questioning if you have a place to belong, I pray that you will know that God loves with an incredible love & that your place to belong is found in him. He will always be faithful. So, let us take comfort in knowing how amazing our God is!

Freedom is Here


“I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” ~Psalm 18:1-2 NRSV

Rock. Fortress. Deliverer. refuge. Shield. Horn of my salvation. Stronghold. What amazing words to describe our God! I can’t help but picture a great rescue as I read Psalm 18. This Psalm describes a God who is not about to stand by and let His children be devoured, enslaved, or killed. No, this Psalm describes a God who will fight for His children, rescue them, renew them, and set them free from captivity. 

I have been working this morning on posting links to an upcoming event that I am putting together that will benefit She Dances, a ministry that I joyfully support. So, when I began reading this Psalm I couldn’t help but picture these young girls who this ministry seeks to help. I guess I need to explain briefly what She Dances is all about. She Dances is a non-profit organization that seeks to bring hope, healing, & freedom to young girls who have been victims of sex-trafficking. Currently they have an ongoing campaign called “Hope for Honduras.” This campaign is seeking to have 200 people commit to giving $20 a month to fund the safe house in Honduras that She Dances has set up for these young girls. These young girls will brought out of horrific environments & placed in this safe home to receive love, care, hope, healing, and a freedom they have never experienced.

Ok, so there is a brief explanation of what She Dances is all about. I began sharing with you how my thoughts were focused on these young girls as I read Psalm 18. Can you picture them? Can you visualize in your mind what they look like? The conditions they live in? The pain they carry? The hopelessness they must feel?

Now, read Psalm 18. Just pause from reading this blog for a moment, and take a moment to read all 50 verses (sounds like a lot, but it’s a quick read). Could you picture these girls as you read? Could you picture Jesus coming to their rescue? Did you see Jesus being their refuge? Fortress? Rock? Deliverer? Could you see the hopelessness fading away and being replaced by the hope of Jesus Christ?  Could you see their pain being taken from them, and being replaced by the love of Jesus Christ?

WOW! I’ve got chills just picturing all of this. How awesome it is that there is hope for these young girls! How awesome is it that Jesus has not forgotten them, and will be their refuge! I pray that each of you reading this have had your hearts touched by the visualization of these young girls. I pray that Jesus will use you in reaching out to these young girls. If you want to learn more about how you can help, please visit www.shedances.org. If you want to check out the She Dances Cup Cake Social then please visit http://www.facebook.com/?sk=nf#!/event.php?eid=147812198597528.

Freedom is here!

Shape My Life, O God!


Let your love, God, shape my life with salvation, exactly as you promised; Then I’ll be able to stand up to mockery because I trusted your Word. Don’t ever deprive me of your truth, not ever–your commandments are what I depend on. Oh, I’ll guard it ever; And I’ll stride freely through wide open spaces as I look for your truth and your wisdom; Then I’ll tell the world what I find, speak out boldly in public, unembarassed. I cherish your commandments–oh, how I love them!–relishing every fragment of your counsel. ~Psalm 119:41-48 The Message

Leonard Sweet Mentions "A Nudge A Day on AFR" (via Missionally Ignited)


This is from my sweet hubby’s blog! Check it out!

This is so awesome! Leonard Sweet mentioned The Way of the Nudge during an interview on AFR. Click this link  to view: Nudge. This is great! … Read More

via Missionally Ignited

Let His Love Wash Over You


3The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.9At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11“No one, sir,” she said.   “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:3-11 NIV)

This account in the Bible of the woman caught in adultery is probably one of the most well known accounts of the Bible. Most people can tell you the account without even opening the Bible. Have you ever thought that maybe the reason for this is because so many people can relate to it? Even if you haven’t been in an adulteress situation (whether it is by your doing, your spouse’s, or maybe it was between your parents and you were just caught in the middle as a child), I believe everyone can relate. Think about all the sins that you have committed, and how people responded to those sins. Did you feel ashamed and guilty? Did people humiliate you and hang it over your head? Was your sinful act thrown up in your face repeatedly even well long after you had committed it? I know I can relate. I have done things in my past that I am not proud of. I have felt ashamed and weighed down with guilt. I have been humiliated by people, and I have had my sins thrown up in my face. So, I can relate to this woman in this account. Yes, what she did was wrong and sinful. But she didn’t deserve to be dragged out in front of everyone to be humiliated and possibly stoned to death.

Isn’t it amazing how Jesus responded to this woman? Even though she had committed a sin and the Pharisees and scribes were wanting her to be punished and humiliated for what she had done, Jesus responded in LOVE. He didn’t make her feel any worse for what she had done. He didn’t point out every wrong thing that she had done in her past. He didn’t write her off. He reached out in love to her. He showed mercy and grace to her. He showed her compassion.

That is how He is, and that is how He is with all of us. There is nothing that we can do that will cause Him to stop loving us. We have been precious to Him since the beginning of time, and we will ALWAYS be precious to Him. Just as He reached out to the woman caught in adultery He reaches out to all of us. When we sin, we can go to Him and receive love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness. He will not humiliate us. He will not condemn us, and He will not bring guilt and shame upon us.

1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1 NIV)

There is hope, healing, love, grace, and mercy found in Christ. He will restore us and renew us. I once felt the Lord impress upon me to share this with someone, “Do not be ashamed of what God has brought you out of.” Now I am not saying to be proud of your past sins, but I believe the Lord is wanting us to rejoice in the fact that He brought us out of those sins & He has renewed us. He is using our past for the good, just like He did with Joseph (see Genesis 50:20).

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[a] who[b] have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)

My prayer is that each of you will know the love of Christ, and know how precious you are to Him. There are no limits to His love for you. He will go to deepest places to rescue you, restore you, and renew you. Just like the woman caught in adultery you can receive love, grace, and mercy. Run into His arms and let His love wash over you today.

I Get Down, He Lifts Me Up


Yesterday was just a blah day for me. My mood was in the pits, and I had no motivation for much of anything. My responses were short and snappy. My demeanor was just icky, and I felt like just getting in a bubble away from the world. Don’t worry, I didn’t stay like that all day. It got better in the evening when my hubby & I decided we would pop some popcorn & put on a movie for the both of us to watch together. Of course, we both ended up falling asleep at different parts of the movie, but it was still sweet to just be together with no other distractions.

As I though a bit this morning, I though about the newness & the beauty of the day. God has created a NEW day, filled with new wonders, new joys, new mercies, and fresh new starts. How awesome is that? Yesterday is gone, and there is no need to dwell on what took place yesterday because it has already passed. What is to be focused on today is today. I feel renewed this morning, especially knowing that God’s mercies are new every morning.

 22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
       for his compassions never fail.  23 They are new every morning;
       great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV

God creates a new day, and He expects us to take hold of the new day with renewed strength, renewed hope, & anticipation that there are new wonders to discover. God does not want any of His children to dwell in a pit of despair, regret, guilt, bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, etc. Whatever pit we might find ourselves in, He is there to pull us out. He has nothing but good planned for us. He wants us to live life to the fullest, and we can’t do that dwelling on past regrets & mistakes, or by focusing on all the wrong that has been done to us. We must press pass all of that, and not only enter into the new day, but we must run & leap into the new day. Christ came to give us abundant life, and when we are in a slump for whatever reason we cannot do that.

 33“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV

Yes, we will have hurts & troubles in this life, but we do not have to stay in them. Jesus tells us that there is hope. HE IS THE HOPE! He has conquered death for us! How cool is that? There is no amount of hurt, regret, guilt, pain, frustration, anger, etc. that is too much for Him to take on. And let me tell you, He will take it on head on & with power! He will not give up on any of us! 

So, no matter what yesterday held for you, know that today is a new day! You have a fresh new start, and yesterday has come & gone. Yesterday is over, and today has just begun. Have faith that whatever pit you may find yourself, He will pull you out if you let Him. He will not give up on you, & He will renew you. When we get down, He lifts us up.

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 NIV

Take Back Purity


So, I am having a bit of trouble sleeping right now. My mind is focused in on something that is very near and dear to my heart. I am bothered by it, hurt by it, saddened by it, and burdened by it.  What is it, you ask? Teen sex. Yep, that’s what has my brain working in overdrive right now. I climbed into bed with all intentions of heading into dreamland, but my brain was buzzing and my eyes were wide open (although I do feel them getting a bit heavy right now). I shared a bit about myself in my previous blog, and I shared that I felt led to start a ministry for young girls who aren’t sure of who they are. I say this to explain a bit of why this is near & dear to me.  I was one of the statistical teen girls who were having sex, when I was a teenager.  (Letting you in to my inner secret places is not as easy as it may be coming across.) I hurt for these teenagers, boys & girls, because I can see the mistakes they are making. I am saddened because I know the hurt that will come as a result of the mistakes. I am bothered & burdened by the fact that the enemy has blinded them to the fact that this is wrong. I can see myself in all these teens. I want so much to shake them & say, “You have so much potential, so much worth. You don’t have to give in to what ‘everybody else’ is doing. You can rise above, and be yourself without having to give into sexual desires.”  I want to tell the girls that if they think, “Well, we are in love, and he is who I want to be with for the rest of my life. He says he loves me,” that they are not looking ahead enough into the future. Sorry, but odds are that the person you date in highschool will not be who you spend the rest of your life with. What about the guy after that guy, and the next, and so on? Oh, and the boys, I want to say to them, “You aren’t a man for this. This is not what makes you a man. A real man loves a girl for who she is, not whether or not she sleeps with you.” How will you ever know what it means to really be loved & to really give love, if you keep making it into something so plastic & fake?

I want to know, how do we claim purity for our teens? How do we show them what is real? How do make them see that the way God holds sexual intimacy is for their own good? This bothers me. This burdens me. Especially as a parent. I know my kids will make their own mistakes, but I want so much for them to see that there is a better way. I didn’t see that God’s view of sexual intimacy was so important & for my own good until adulthood. I know there are a lot of advertisements & commercials explaining the consequences of being promiscuous, but there is still a void that is not being filled. There is still something missing, because our teens aren’t getting it.

As a Youth Minister, I use to tell my youth that there were 3 consequences to having premarital sex: pregnancy, STDs, & emotional damage. I told them that they may not get pregnant (or get a girl pregnant), and they may not get a STD, but they are guaranteed to have emotional damage. Sex is binding. Every time you sleep with someone you give a piece of yourself away. Emotional wounds are deep & take lots of time to heal. They leave deep scars, & they carry on into other relationships that you may form. This is hard to deal with in other relationships, as it causes problems. 

I know I might sound like I am rambling on, but this is so important to me. I can relate and understand this. Sex is nothing that can be taken lightly. It is not a game. It is not something to do when you get bored. It is not just something to do just because other people are doing it. Sex is a heavy responsibility. It is a binding relationship that is meant for husband & wife. Guys, treat girls with respect. Don’t disrespect them by taking advantage of them. Even if a girl says she is willing, you will still be taking advantage of her. She has a need in her life, and sex is not it. Girls, respect yourselves. Don’t be so quick & easy to throw yourselves at guys. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and we should treat them like that.

I just ask that we as adults help our teens to see the realities of sex. I am not saying to sit them down & scare them out of ever having sex. But we need to show them how important it is to hold God’s view of it, and wait. I ask that teens take a stand, and claim your purity. Don’t let the enemy’s lies rob you of it.

“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16

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