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Archive for the month “January, 2011”

Rising Like a Lioness and Rousing Like a Lion


“Look, a people rising up like a lioness, and rousing itself like a lion!” Numbers 23:24

 

I am currently reading Lisa Bevere’s book Lioness Arising: Wake Up and Change Your World. I requested it to read and upon finishing the book, posting a review on it. I wasn’t too sure about it, but the other options I had to choose from at the time were books that I have already read or books that my husband has on his kindle. So, I chose this book. Now I have seen Lisa Bevere on TV before, and I really like her. I like her passion and heart for God, and so I knew that it was going to be a good book. It was just that I wasn’t sure that this book was the book that I wanted to read at this time. But as I read, I am finding that this is exactly the book that I need to be reading at this time! God has a wonderful way of giving us what we need at the time we need it. I have only read the first two chapters so far, but what I have read is powerful stuff!

God has so much that He wants for His children, and timidity, fearfulness, and weakness are not included in any of what He wants for us. God wants us to “rise up like a lioness” and “rouse like a lion” for His kingdom! We have the strength of Christ within us, and there is nothing about Christ that is timid, afraid, or weak. Each of us has a calling given to us by God, a purpose that only we can live out. But if we are too afraid to live our purpose out, then we leave that purpose unfulfilled. We have the Lion of Judah on our side, so we have nothing to fear! What He says we can do, we CAN do! Alexander the Great once said,

“I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.”

 

We are the sheep, and Christ is the lion! Let us remember that when we go out into the world to live out our purpose! When we fully grasp this and take hold of it, we can truly begin to change the world! Don’t shrink back in fear, timidity, or weakness. Don’t think that you can’t make a difference. Know that you are led by the Lion of Judah! Know that you CAN  make a difference! Live out your calling and purpose! “Rise up like a lioness” and “rouse like a lion”!

Grace and Peace

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Don’t Let a BAM Day Steal Your Joy


Have you ever had one of those days where the day starts out going great and then all of a sudden without warning it’s like, “BAM”, smack you in the face horrible? Well, yesterday was a day just like that for me. I got up and did the morning thing of getting kids up and ready for school, getting myself ready for the day, and making sure there was coffee to be consumed. Once the kids were off at school, I worked out, and got ready for a meeting I had to attend. The meeting went great. I was approved and re-certified as a Continuing Candidate for ministry in my denomination, and I was full of thankfulness for how God was working in my life. Worship music in the car. Singing at the top of my lungs. Reflecting. Then, came the “BAM” part.

Headache creeping back. Phone call that was less than pleasant. Couldn’t get my daughter to her Girl Scouts meeting, because my husband had accidentally grabbed both sets of car keys on his way out to our son’s football banquet. One very disappointed (and over-dramatic) little girl. Creeping headache became massive headache. Feeling like locking myself in the bathroom, curling up in a ball, and crying. 

As I thought about all of this after-the-fact, I thought about how the enemy tries his best to mess things up for us. He has no desire for any good to take place in our lives. He can’t stand it when God is working in our lives. So he does what he can to create misery, despair, chaos, frustration, and stress. All in hopes that maybe we will just throw our hands up and say, “I surrender! I give up!” But listen to what Jesus says in John 10:10

‘”The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

Jesus promises us an abundant life and tells us that the enemy is out to rob us of that abundant life. The enemy works hard at our thoughts, in order for us to feel absolutely put out and discouraged. How can we praise God and give thanks if we are so consumed with discouraging thoughts? We must recognize this, and stand firm when the enemy comes to attack us. We have to stop and refocus our thoughts on God. God desires the best for His children, and we have to trust that. Sometimes we lose sight of that when we give in to the lies that the enemy is pushing on us. But we can take back control, by thinking on God and His goodness.

The good part of my day yesterday hadn’t changed. It was my mindset that had changed. I had allowed the enemy to steal and kill and destroy my joy, by allowing the circumstances to get to me. I don’t want to be a sucker for the enemy’s tactics. I want to be a warrior for Christ! I pray that if you are having a bad day, that you will stop and refocus your thoughts on God and His goodness. It will bring a whole new perspective.

Grace and Peace

Do You Have Time?


Have you ever wanted someone to spend time with you? A spouse? Boyfriend? Girlfriend? Best friend? Sibling? Or maybe someone has told you that they would like for you to spend time with them. We all have had times when we want someone’s undivided attention, or when someone else wants our undivided attention. And we all know what it feels like when someone doesn’t give us their undivided attention. Let’s face it, it sucks. It hurts when we want to spend time with someone, but they don’t have time for us. It can be downright depressing at times.

Imagine how God must feel when we don’t have time for Him. He gives all of His time for us, and yet we can barely find time to squeeze Him into our busy schedules. Our days are filled with school, work, errands to run, workouts, and many other things that we try so desperately to squeeze into a day. Some of us even get so busy with church that we neglect to spend time with God. (Some of you may be scratching your head at that last statement.) All of the things that we have on our schedules might be important, but spending time with God should be the most important thing to us. God should be first, and more than often we put Him last. We give Him a little 2 bit prayer right before bed and count that off as our time with God. When all through the day we haven’t even taken the time to even thank Him for the day! What if God did that with us? What if God only gave us 2 minutes of His time, and the rest of the time He never even thought of us? *OUCH*

Spending one on one time with God is VITAL to our Christian walk. We can’t go through life claiming to be a Christian if we never take time to spend time with God. I am guilty of neglecting my time with God, more than I would care to admit. This morning as my husband was leaving to do some of his pastor stuff, I thought about how I would love for him to just spend the day with me. One on one, just the two of us, with no distractions. And then it hit me. I should be hungry to spend time like that with God. That is how God wants us to be when it comes to spending time with Him. He wants us to want to be alone with Him. To want to just be in His Presence. To want to listen to Him. God wants us to WANT Him! But because God loves us so much, He will not force us to do so. We can choose to neglect Him, to ignore Him, or to plain out turn away from Him. We can do that, because He LOVES us. Yes, because of His love for us we have the freedom to choose to spend time with Him, as well as the freedom to choose not to spend time with Him.

I urge you, and encourage, to make time for God. Spend time with just you and Him, no distractions. Time with God is the most priceless and precious time there is. God makes time for each of us. The question is, will we make time for Him?

GRACE & PEACE

Trust & Be Thankful


This morning as I opened my morning devotional book God Calling, I was in anticipation as to what today’s message would be. What message did God have for me today? Here’s what I found. Title: Grey Days  As I began reading a few things stood out to me. “Be not afraid.” “Trust Me.” “Never forget your ‘Thank You’. Do you not see it is a lesson? You must say ‘Thank You’ on the greyest days.” “If a grey day is not one of thankfulness, the lesson has to be repeated until it is. Not to everyone is it so. But only to those who ask to serve me well, and to do much for Me. A great work requires a great and careful training.”

This is becoming a theme lately for God and me. I have sensed Him lately assuring me, nudging me, and pressing me to trust Him more and focus on all of the blessings in my life that HE has given me. He doesn’t want me to be consumed with all my fears, doubts, worries, and frustrations. He wants me to leave all of those at His feet, and let Him take care of them. He just wants me to TRUST HIM.  This is a lesson that I have been taught many times, and yet I still tend to forget it. A few years ago I felt Him telling me that He doesn’t expect us to understand, just to TRUST.”  God wants to take care of His children, and He wants the best for each of us. God wants us to live the abundant life that Christ came to give us, and in order to do that we must be thankful! And we must TRUST Him. Part of trusting Him is to be thankful, and be thankful at all times!

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Cowardly or Boldly?


I would like to introduce to a member of the Turner family.

Meet MJ, the princess dog of the house. Yes, I call her my little princess, but sometimes I think I should call her the coward of the house. You see, MJ is scared of just about everything. When it rains (as it is today) she shakes and whimpers due to the thunder. When the smoke detector beeps, she runs whimpering and shaking to the nearest person in hopes that they will pick her up and comfort her. When it is wet outside, she tries desperately to hover over the grass so that none of her paws touches the wet grass (she has yet to realize that this is futile).  A couple of weeks ago I discovered she is scared of a digital thermometer beeping. And just this morning she leapt off the couch and ran whimpering down the hallway after Brian made a squeaking noise with his shoe on the hardwood floor. *Sigh* Yes, MJ is one weird little dog. I think she could replace “Courage the Cowardly Dog” on cartoon Network.

At this point you might be asking yourself, why I am sharing this with you. Well, as I was folding laundry this morning and watching my “little princess” dog shake in fear of the squeaking shoe noise, I thought about how we are often just like MJ. When God calls us to do something that is outside of our comfort zone we often run away whimpering and shaking at the very thought of it. We are scared, and we just want to run away. But God promises us something.

“I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Emphasis added)

God doesn’t just call us to do something and leave us to fend for ourselves. NO! He goes with us! God calls us to be bold and courageous for Him! He calls us to whatever it is that He has called us to do, because He believes in us. He knows what we are capable of and what we just can’t handle. God has planned great things for His children, and we should not be afraid of those great things.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a chicken when it comes to doing what God has called me to do, because that would mean I would miss out on the greatness of God. I want to be bold, courageous, and fearless! I don’t want to run and hide. I want to run out to the front lines and confidently pursue my God-given calling! My prayer for you is that you won’t be like my “little princess” MJ, but that you will be the mighty warrior in God’s Kingdom that He has called you to be!

Got Needs? Trust God


Have you ever felt like your needs outweighed everything else in your life? Bills need to be paid. Groceries need to be bought. The children need money for school (meals, snacks, fees, yearbook, sports, etc.). The animals need to go to the vet. The car needs repairs. And the list could go on and on and on, until we passed out from exhaustion. I know there are many times in my life, that I feel overwhelmed by the needs in my life. I get a bit stressed out trying to figure out just how I am going to meet all of those needs. It makes my head spin just listing the needs of in my head!

Yesterday as I was cleaning the house, I decided to finally hang a few pieces of artwork that still had not found a place on the walls of our home. One piece grabbed my attention as I hung it above my husband and I’s bed. On it was written:

Talk about a smack in the face, to put me in my place! You see, as I was cleaning and hanging, my mind was turning on all the needs in my life and how to go about meeting all of those needs. As I looked at that piece of artwork and read the words over and over to myself, I felt that God was reminding me that He has my back. It was like He was saying, “Jaclyn, I got this! Don’t worry, just trust me.”

It is hard to do that sometimes. Trusting God seems quite simple and easy, but sometimes it is the hardest thing to do. Sometimes we focus too much on the physical world, and too little on the spiritual world. We turn our needs into worries, which then turn into stress because WE are trying to meet all of our needs instead of giving them over to God and letting Him meet all of them. I was again reminded of this just this morning in my morning devotion.

“I wait, wait with hungry longing to be called upon; and I, who have already seen your hearts’ needs before you cried upon Me, before perhaps, you were conscious of those needs yourself, I am already preparing the answer.” (God Calling)

God knows ALL of our needs. He knows our wants, dreams, and desires. But He doesn’t just know them. He wants to fulfill them! Phulippians 4:19 says, “And my God will fully satisfy every of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”  God will FULLY SATISFY EVERY NEED! All we have to do is trust Him.

I challange all of us to “Thank God for what [we] have. Trust God for what [we] need.”

Grace and Peace, Jaclyn

Soulprint–A Book Review


I absolutely love this book! Mark Batterson does an excellent job of bringing to light what we have tried so hard to keep hidden, when it comes to truly discovering our destiny. In Soulprint Mark Batterson uses the story of David to show how one’s destiny is found in living out Christ’s legacy. David’s story is a story of strength, courage, faith, hope, and restoration. I have often thought to myself that I want to be like David when it comes to my faith in God, but in reading Souprint I discovered that I want to be me when it comes to my faith in God. We are all unique, and God created us that way for a reason.Our uniqueness carries on into our worship of God, our love for God,our relationship with God, and in living out our God-given destiny. We discover who we truly are when we embrace our uniqueness and seek God. When we find God, we find our true selves and discover our destinies.

I highly recommend this book as a “must-read” for anyone, and especially for those who might be questioning their purpose and identity. Soulprint will get you excited and motivated, as well as challenge you, in pursuing your God-given destiny.

I reviewed this book for http://www.waterbrookmultnomah.com.

Jesus Said What?


The other day as I was reading over all the blogs that I subscribe to, there was one that stuck out to me. (http://ragamuffinsoul.com) Carlos Whittaker is the owner & author of this wonderful blog. The post that grabbed my attention was “Disturb and Disrupt–The Message. I clicked on the video that was included in the post, and I will have to confess that when I saw that the video was nearly an hour-long I almost decided to skip it. I decided I would watch a bit of it, and as I was watching I couldn’t stop watching. The Holy Spirit was really speaking through Carlos’s message. I won’t give it all away, because I think it is well worth the time for you to watch this video for yourself. But I will tell you that he shares a story during the message in which he said that sometimes Jesus speaks through us and we don’t even realize it. Sometimes Jesus says things through us that we don’t want Him to say. I was blown away by this. Well, last night I experienced this in a way. I was leading worship during our Wednesday evening service, and as I was praying for the people in Arizona these words came out of my mouth, “Lord, I also pray for the shooter. God have mercy on him, and open his eyes to a better way.” As soon as “God have mercy on him” left my mouth I thought to myself, “What did I just say? These people are probably thinking that I have lost it. I need to be praying for the victims & families that this crazy man hurt, not for him to be shown mercy!” But the more I think about it, that IS exactly what I needed to pray. Jesus knew what needed to be prayed for, and He spoke it through me.

“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27 NRSV

I pray that Jesus would continue to speak things through me, even if what He says isn’t necessarily what I want Him to say.  Have you ever experienced a time where Jesus spoke something through you and it wasn’t necessarily what you wanted Him to say?

Macho Man or Manly Man


What is it with some men (and some boys) thinking they have to be the “Macho Man”? They think that by not showing any emotion, always having some witty yet rude comment to throw out at any given time, and playing as many girls as possible all at the same time is what a true man is. They view men who might be a bit sensitive and caring to be sissies, and men who actually have manners and treat women and girls respectfully at all times to be wimps. What is up with that? (Please do not think that I am trying to man bash, because that is not my goal here. And I am not throwing all men into one pile.)

I was reading the other day, and I came across a sentence that I believe sums up what a true “Manly Man” really is. Here’s the sentence,”David is a battle-hardened warrior at this point, but his conscience is still sensitized to the conviction of the Holy Spirit.” Check that out! This sentence is referring to the David that had killed Goliath and was to become king soon, but he was being hunted by King Saul so that Saul could kill him. Let me give you some insight into what exactly this sentence is referring to.

 “Afterward David was stricken to the heart because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s cloak. He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to raise my hand against him; for he is the Lord’s anointed.” So David scolded his men severely and did not permit them to attack Saul. Then Saul got up and left the cave, and went on his way.” (1 Samuel 24:5-7)

David and his men were hidden away in a cave, when Saul enters the cave to relieve himself. It is dark in the cave, so Saul doesn’t even realize that David is inside. David has an opportunity to kill Saul before Saul can kill him, yet he decides to cut off a piece of Saul’s robe. Then David feels bad for even doing that. What? Why? Because David is a man of God, and he knows that only God is in control. Now that is a “Manly Man.” By not killing Saul, and then feeling bad for even have cut a piece of Saul’s robe off, David was not being a sissy or wimp. David was exercising the greatest power. The power of his will. WILLPOWER. Mark Batterson says, “And willpower may be the purest form of power.” David knew that he didn’t have the power to take Saul’s life, even if Saul was threatening David’s life. Saul was God’s anointed, and David knew he couldn’t do anything against God’s will. What a true display of being a man!

A man who is led by the Holy Spirit in all that he does, is a real man. A man who doesn’t give into the selfish desires of revenge, is a real man. A man that allows God to direct his steps, is a real man. Imagine if we started teaching this to our young boys, instead of having the opposite instilled in them. Imagine the change that could take place! It breaks my heart at some of the wrong teachings that some of our young boys and young men are being taught, in regards as to what it means to be a “Manly Man.” I have heard things like, “The way to get a girl is to act like you don’t care.” “Don’t ever take anything off of anybody.” “Real men don’t cry.” All of these are FALSE teachings! We need more examples of modern-day “Davids” for our young boys and young men. It is time we took back what God intended, and stop living a life of the pretended!

So, I challenge all men to stand up and be a “Manly Man” in God’s way!

Pushing Past the Pain, and Breaking Free into Healing


Over the Christmas holiday my family and I decided to load up our car, and visit our family and friends out-of-state. We had a great time hanging out with, chatting with, and eating with our wonderful family and friends (We also enjoyed visiting our favorite store Barnes & Noble for some yummy Starbucks). My husband and I had also decided that even though we were on vacation visiting everyone, we still wanted to attend a worship service. We talked about our options of churches we could visit, and we decided that we would attend worship at a place that was well, a place of hurt for both us. We decided that seeing the faces of those we love and those that love and support us, was well worth walking through those doors again. As we walked into the sanctuary we were met by some of the people who I told you made it worth it to walk through those doors. It felt good to see their sweet faces, and it warmed my heart. As we found a seat and began to worship, I looked around the sanctuary and my eyes became focused on some of the people who made it difficult to walk through those doors. My mind quickly went back to all the hurt that I once felt. The pain. The sadness. After the music was over, we walked around during the greeting and fellowship time and found other people that we were excited to get to see ( I was trying not to feel overwhelmed by knowing we might run into others who might not be so excited to see us). Once the fellowship times was done, it was time to listen to the sermon.  That particular Sunday another staff member (not the pastor) preached. I tried to focus intently on his message, but my mind was swirling with what had happened at this place. Again the hurt, the pain, and the sadness. But a funny thing happened (not as in funny haha though), I had a peace wash over me. There I was sitting in a chair in the back row, with my mind focusing on past things, and a peace came over me. It was refreshing. I began thinking on the healing that has taken place since those dark days, and how far we have come since then. What God is doing in our lives, and has done since then, is amazing and sweet. I felt like God was reminding me of this, and allowing me to see that the hurt I once felt has been replaced and is still being replaced with His healing. It was like He was opening my eyes and heart to see, that those dark days no longer had to consume me. I think I might have even smiled a bit, thinking about all of this.

I still have a bit to go on completely letting go of the hurt and pain, but I am so thankful for the healing that has taken place already. I am thankful that I have a God who loves me so much, that He would replace the hurt with His love. I am thankful that I have a husband who loves me and pushed through the hurt and pain with me. I am thankful that I have a husband who is patient with me and walks with me during my moments of weakness. I am thankful that I have people in my life who love me, support me, and stand by me. ( I am also thankful for the times that set me straight.)  This reminds me of Psalm 30:5 which states, “Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

You see, God loves us so much that He promises to replace our weeping with joy. How awesome is that? My hope in sharing this with you is that those of you who are experiencing hurt in your life will take comfort and be encouraged in knowing that God is with you. He will replace your sorrow with joy. You can push past the hurt and pain, and experience healing in your life. There is no hurt too much that God cannot mend it. There is no place dark enough, that God cannot bring light to it. There is no pain too intense, that God cannot heal it. God is a God of grace, mercy, and love. He is a God who never abandons His children. And He is a God who loves like no one else! I pray that my story has encouraged you, and that you experience the healing and love of Christ in your life.

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