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The Year of Victory


Year of Victory

Today is January 1st, 2015. The beginning of not only a new day, but also a new year. A chance to start fresh. An opportunity to improve. A chance to invest in growth. An opportunity to be better than last year. Most importantly, an opportunity to lose yourself in Jesus Christ.

A friend of mine posted on social media a few days that each year she prays for God to give her a word for the year. After she shared her word and her thoughts, she asked for other people to share their word. My word for this new year is “VICTORY.”

I feel God impressing upon me that this is the year of victory. This is year that defeat will not be an option. The only option is being victorious. With that comes responsibility on my behalf though, and yours too should you choose to pursue the year of victory.

Courageous.

Bold.

Fearless.

Adventurous.

Faithful.

Devoted.

Secure.

Relentless.

Hopeful.

Loving.

These are just a few words that come to mind as I think on what a year of victory looks like. I believe that this is year of victory not only for me, but for you as well dear friend. I believe that marriages will have the victory. I believe that relationships with children will be victorious. I believe that there will be victory in finances, in businesses, in health, in faith, and in all areas of life.

Scripture says, “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” (Romans 8:37, NLT)

We have the victory through Christ. We have already won through Jesus. We have the ability to be courageous, bold, fearless, relentless, hopeful, loving, secure, devoted, faithful, and adventurous through Him.

I pray that this will be the year of victory for you too, my sweet friend. God has amazing things in store for this year. I can feel in my spirit. I can’t wait to see all the amazing things He has in store for you and for me.

Victorious in Christ,
Jaclyn

God Is Close to the Brokenhearted


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This morning as I was driving in my car I had Jesus Culture playing. I usually have some worship album playing in the morning to set the tone for the day. And Jesus Culture is one of my favorite worship bands. The song playing as I drove was “Heaven is Here,” and the words seemed to just be a bit louder this morning. They seemed to stick a bit more than any of the other times I have listened to this song.

Here are the lyrics:

We won’t stop crying out to Him
Cause He hears us everytime
Yeah He hears us everytime

We won’t stop pouring out our love to Him
Cause He loves us everytime
Yeah He loves us everytime

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to
Shake up eternal signs
Because we want you

We won’t stop going out to Him
Cause He meets us everytime
Yeah He meets us everytime

We won’t stop living only for Him
Cause He’s faithful everytime
Yeah He’s faithful everytime

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to
Shake up eternal signs
Because we want you

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to God
Shake up eternal signs

Cause heaven is hear now
He’s all around us
Heaven is Jesus
It’s the moment we meet

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to
Shake up eternal signs
Because we want you 

These words really were echoing in my head, “We won’t stop crying out to Him cause He hears us every time…We won’t stop pouring out our love for Him, cause He loves us every time…We won’t stop going out to Him, cause He meets us every time…We won’t stop living only for Him, cause He’s faithful every time.”

This morning my heart was breaking, as it is another month of not being pregnant (if you haven’t followed my journey up till now, check out my past posts in regards to infertility and my faith). Another month of feeling defeated and crushed. Another month of feeling as if the enemy was doing a victory dance on top of my head and laughing the whole time, as I sobbed on the inside and then began sobbing on the outside.

BUT GOD. God knew all of this even before I woke this morning. He knew how my heart would break. He knew the defeat I would feel. He knew the lies the enemy would feed me. And He knew He would be there for me no matter how crushed I was. And He chose to speak to me through a song. He chose to remind me of His faithfulness, His love, His strength, and His hope. He wrapped His arms around me as my mind began whirling in a hundred different directions. As the questions began coming like a freight train. As insecurity and doubt began creeping in. As the enemy began throwing his fiery darts at me, my God became my shield and my fortress and my comfort. As He ALWAYS is.

Once the song ended and another song began to play, I felt the Holy Spirit whisper to me, “Choose joy.” I sat in my car and began saying that to myself…”Choose joy, Jaclyn. Choose joy.” I firmly believe that one of the enemy’s biggest weapons against us is our own feelings. He was trying his best to get me to sink into a dark place this morning, and just like the faithful Father that He is, God showed up and began speaking life into me.

Am I still brokenhearted that I have no celebratory news of a little Turner this month? Yes, but I know that my God “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3) and “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). So I can keep crying out to Him, because I know He DOES hear me every time. I can continue pouring out my love for Him, because He DOES love me every time. I can go out to Him, because He WILL meet me every time. And I can continue living only for Him, because He is FOREVER faithful. The enemy is a liar. My God is my everything, and I will praise Him despite my feelings. I will praise Him even if I have questions. I will praise Him simply because He is The Great I Am, and I know He loves me more than I can ever fully understand.

My friend, I have no idea what you may be experiencing or what lies the enemy might be telling you, but what I do know that God will never fail you. He will always be there for you, and He will always be your shield. Drive into Him even if you don’t understand. Drive into Him even if you can’t feel Him. Drive into Him even if you can’t see Him. He is there. I promise you that.

More Than Just a Name Tag


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This morning as I was driving in my car and listening to my new favorite worship album (ONE “A Worship Collective” We Believe Live…isn’t that a mouthful), I found myself in conversation with God. I just begin praying to Him (don’t worry my eyes were open…yep, you can still pray with your eyes open *gasp*). My heart was burdened for the lost. My heart was heavy and breaking this morning over the ones who have yet come to know Jesus personally. 

Yesterday I preached about 1. Receive Jesus as King. 2. Feel as Jesus Feels. 3. Share Jesus. And the second one really has stuck with me. You see as Jesus neared Jerusalem we read these words in Luke 19:41: 

                                             “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.” 

The Greek word that is translated today in our Bibles as “wept,” doesn’t just refer to a simple tear streaming down the cheek of Jesus. No, it means a gut-wrenching sob. So Jesus was was sobbing, possibly uncontrollably, over the city of Jerusalem and the people of Jerusalem. Why? Because He could see the lost. He could see the outcome of those who didn’t receive Him as King. A life without Jesus is a purposeless life that will lead only to death. Jesus saw that and it broke His heart. 

So I found myself burdened with this thought this morning. The thought of a life without Jesus. Not only for myself, but everyone. As many curve balls life can throw, I wouldn’t want to do life without Jesus. I can’t imagine it. 

I began thinking about how some people say they want Jesus and want to have a relationship with Him, but yet their life reflects an entirely different choice. They wear the “Hello my name is ‘Christian'” name tag and that is about it. They wear the name tag by going to church on Sunday, but do nothing with the message they heard from the pastor. They wear the name tag by owning a Bible, yet they never read it. They wear the name tag by professing that they are a Christian and believe in Jesus, yet they wallow in sin daily. 

This breaks my heart. Now, please hear my heart in all of this. I am in no means trying to put myself up on a pedestal as some “holier than thou” Christian. I am not that at all. I have had wallowed in my own sin mess. I have days when I am not the best expression of Christ. I say things that I shouldn’t. I get angry when I shouldn’t. I find it hard to forgive at times. But I recognize these things, and I press into God because without Him I am nothing. Without Jesus, I would be a hot mess. Without Jesus I wouldn’t stand a chance against sin…it would consume me. 

                         “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22

            “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

I don’t want to just sport a name tag that says I am a Christian. I want my life to show that Christ lives in me, and that He is received as King in my life. And I want that for everyone. There is no greater joy than that of having a relationship with Jesus. There is nothing in this world, no amount of drugs, sex, alcohol, pornography, foul language, material possessions, and anything else this world offers, that can compare to having Jesus Christ as your Lord, Savior, and King. 

I pray that as you go throughout this day that you would allow the Holy Spirit to stir within you. Allow Him to move in your life. Let Him purge you of everything that is not of Him, so that He can fill you with everything that is of Him. I pray that you can’t imagine going through life without Jesus. My friends, He will totally change your life for the better. I promise you that.

Grace & Peace, Jac

Peace I Leave You…Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled


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There has been some crazy weather happening lately. I mean, one day it is snowing in East Alabama and the next day it is 75 degrees. It’s enough to make you ask, “What the mess is up any way?” And on top of the crazy weather there are other saddening and heart-breaking events occurring all over. It really is hard to turn on the news and hear anything good. I know. I get it. I understand, and feel ya on that one. And with all of these crazy and sad things going on, I have noticed a lot of social media posts and blog posts turning our attention to the end of times. Let me just go ahead and let you know that this post is going to be different. It isn’t like the other posts floating around out there. But it will have some similarities…I suppose. 

I am a follower of Christ. I believe in Him, know Him as my Lord and Savior, and love Him more than I can put into words. I am forever thankful for His great love, mercy, and grace that He has extended and shown to me. I do believe He will come to restore the earth and all of creation, and I believe it could happen at any time. Where I differ in most of the other posts is that I don’t go all, “Hide yo kids! Hide yo wife! Stock the pantry and stop what you are doing because it’s the end of the world as we know it.” Yea, I haven’t jumped aboard that bandwagon. I was brought up in a Christian household where we went to church every Sunday. My Mom had a story about Jesus for everything. And I read the book of Revelation during worship service almost every Sunday (yea, I had a fascination with that book of the Bible). I have been made aware of Jesus’ return and that it could happen at any time, and I should always be prepared. But I wasn’t told to go into panic mode and focus only on the end of times. 

I can remember my Mom saying, “I think Jesus wants me to live for Him every day, and if I am only focused on His return then how can I make sure that I am being Christ to those around me.” Yes, we should always be aware and be ready, but I don’t think that it should be our sole focus. If I begin trying to interpret every event and happening and running around like Chicken Little, then I stop showing love, being love, and doing all of the other things Jesus laid out for me to do in scripture. And I am also one who steers clear of books, people, and teachings that claim to know when, where, and how about Jesus’ return. Why? Well, because I am a firm believer that if God didn’t disclose this to His Son, He isn’t going to disclose it to Billy Bob. 

Please do not think I am discrediting the return of Jesus, because I am not. I believe He is coming. I believe it will be soon. But I don’t want to play the role of interpreter and predictor. I want to just be the disciple of Jesus that He has called me to be, and to make sure that I am doing everything possible to point people to Him. 

Be blessed friends. 

Grace & Peace, Jac

Trusting in Him


Today I find myself thinking on this journey of infertility yet again. Seriously, it’s very consuming. Even when I try not to think about it, somehow my mind goes right to it. I see a post on Facebook of someone announcing their pregnant, or sharing a photo of their precious baby. I see a woman loving on her baby out in town as she runs errands. Someone asks me a question in regards to how things are going, or “do you want any more kids?” (because they don’t realize the journey I am on). Yep, it pretty much consumes my thoughts. 

Charts. Tracking. Articles. New research. Hoops. Hoops. Hoops. And more hoops. 

I feel like a flipping science project some days, and on other days I feel like a complete failure in this area, and then some days I am full of hope. Anyone walking this journey (or that has walked this journey) can completely understand the wild roller coaster of emotions. And just when you think you have a handle on our emotions, you flip out or melt down just like that. Hello crazy! 

I am not sure why some people get pregnant by just thinking about it, while other people can’t seem to get pregnant no matter what they do. It just doesn’t seem fair. Not at all. Yes, I catch myself going down this road every now and then. Just let me be real with you. It’s not pretty. I really don’t want to have the urge to scream at the young single girl who keeps popping kids out left and right. But the truth is, I do. I really do. I feel like Paul when he wrote in Romans 7, “And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.” (Romans 7:18-19, NLT) A bit of a battle within. And it is just that…a battle. A spiritual battle. A physical battle. A mental battle. An emotional battle. A battle in every way. 

Today I am thinking on how much I hate this journey. Seriously HATE it. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. I am thinking on the fact that I have been pregnant before, and I have a beautiful daughter from that pregnancy (and she is such a blessing). I am wondering why I am dealing with this since I have been pregnant before. Why is it that those who aren’t trying to get pregnant are plastering their “Ooops, it just happened,” statuses and pictures for those of us who would love an “oops, it just happened” to see? Why is it so difficult for those of us who genuinely want a child, to even have our desired child? Why/ Why? Why? My mind is spinning in all directions. 

Then I also am thinking on that even though I feel like my God has forsaken me and turned a deaf ear to my heart’s cries, I know He hasn’t. Even though I have told Him that I am angry with Him and don’t understand, He holds me in His arms and tells me how much He loves me. He holds my hand every step of the way on this journey, and when I feel like I can’t take another step, He carries me. He always carries me and holds me in His hands. 

Oh how I wish I had the magic formula to make all of this better. I so wish I could snap my fingers and find that infertility is just a horrible nightmare and not even real. But I can’t. I’m not God. But He is. And I have to trust Him no matter what. I have to cling to Him even when I feel like letting go. I have to press into Him even when I feel like He isn’t there. Why? Because deep down I know that my God is faithful, loving, merciful, gracious, and full of life. He can turn my darkness into light. He can take my mess and create a masterpiece. 

I’ve tasted and seen that the Lord is good, and because of that I will trust in Him. He is my living hope.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcmUYDU-2DY/>Trusting in Him, Jac

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Stamp of Approval


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We all want a “stamp of approval” on our lives. I mean nobody likes to be told that how they behave, how they parent, how they treat others, how they live their lives, and anything else that involves their decisions is well, let’s just say not up to par. I will admit that I don’t like being told that some of my decisions and choices aren’t always the best, and sometimes I have issues with authority (oops, how did that skeleton get out the closet). But lately, I have felt God making me more aware of that fact that not everything people do in their lives has His official stamp of approval. Oh, we like to put it there though don’t we?

How many times have we done something, said something, or behaved a certain way and thrown God’s stamp of approval on it knowing good and well He was probably shaking His head at us the entire time. I mean, come on. 

I have noticed a lot of “stamps of approval” lately that have been placed by human hands, not God’s. It upsets me, and it breaks my heart. Since when did we become so blind to the fact that if it isn’t in line with God’s Word then it does NOT get His stamp of approval? 

You can’t live with your significant other and have sex outside of marriage, and turn around and proclaim that God is in control of your life. No. God’s Word is very specific when talking about sex outside of marriage. Scripture tells to even flee from the very hint of sexual immorality. Shacking up with your significant other before marriage falls into this category. So, I am sorry, but God’s stamp of approval does not get placed on this. 

You can’t cuss and drink like a sailor, and then turn around and sing God’s praises. “From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so.” (James 3:10) “Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery;” (Ephesians 5:18) God’s stamp of approval doesn’t get on this either. 

Divorcing your spouse because you “fell out of love,” or for any other reason other than abuse, adultery, or abandonment, and then saying that God is opening up a new door for you. No, God’s stamp of approval doesn’t get on this either. “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Mark 10:9)
I realize none of this is like swallowing sugar….more like salt. It’s not easy for me to type this. I am more of a warm and fuzzy kind of gal, with a side (ok, maybe an extra side) of sassiness. But it really breaks my heart that God’s name seems to be placed just about everywhere now. We like to think that if we include His name then everything will be ok. 

Look, I am a divorcee. I went through a divorce, and I know the pain that it brings. It’s not easy. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I won’t go into details of that chapter of my life (that’s another post), but I will share that it was a hard struggle for me. And I also know that divorce was never in God’s plan. Ever. God is not an advocate of divorce. Just like he’s not an advocate for shacking up, cursing, drunkenness, wrong behavior, nasty attitudes, lying, cheating, stealing, and the likes. 

Oh there is grace. His sweet wonderful grace. And we can have it at no cost to us, well let me take that back. His grace is freely given to us, but we do have to lay down our pride, self-centeredness, and our ego. We can make poor life choices and be forgiven. God doesn’t turn His back on us when we make decisions that don’t line up with His Word, but that doesn’t mean He approves of them either. So, maybe instead of putting His stamp of approval on it, we should strive to make better choices and seek His way. Maybe instead of looking at our poor choices and thinking to ourselves that God orchestrated the chain of events (you know, so we can feel better about ourselves), we should ask Him to show us His way apart from those poor choices. 

I am by no means perfect, and I don’t have everything figured out. God knows that, and I would never claim to be the girl who has it all together. Really, I am a broken soul in desperate need of my Savior everyday at every moment. I fail Him daily. I make poor choices. I hurt people. I don’t always have the best attitude. I can be snotty and plain out rude. I don’t always love my spouse like I should. I don’t always give my kids my best. And there are times when I try to put God’s stamp of approval on things I have done so that I can feel better. I confess. But that doesn’t mean it’s right. It doesn’t mean it’s ok. I cling to Jesus everyday because I know if I don’t, I will slip right back into the pit He rescued me from. And it’s a dark pit that I don’t ever want to return to. 

Friends, this post isn’t meant to be judgmental or cause you to have a pound of guilt strapped around your neck. And isn’t meant to make you feel bad about yourself. This post is as much for me as well. My prayer is that this post will cause all of us to take a good hard look at our life choices before we try to put God’s stamp of approval on them. And if they don’t line up with His Word, I pray that we wouldn’t try to force His stamp of approval on them. I pray that we would seek His way above our own way, even if it isn’t the easiest or most comfortable. I pray that we would rest in His grace, love, and mercy, and trust Him to always lead us in the right way. 

“But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:14)

Grace & Peace, Jac

Sweet Season


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Do you ever feel like God is doing something in you, but you just can’t quite put your finger on it? That is how I am feeling lately. I can sense God doing something, working within me. But if you were to ask me to explain it, I couldn’t put into words adequately.

I started Priscilla Shirer’s study Gideon a couple of weeks ago, and God has been using it to speak right to my heart. I started out thinking I was only going to prepare to lead this study and that God was going to use it to touch other women’s hearts. But God. Oh, those two simple words. How they change everything. God has been peeling back the layers of my heart with every lesson. He is doing a work within me right now, & it is a much needed work friends.

I will be honest and share with you that my walk hasn’t been as close as it should be, but He is changing that. He is bringing me back to Him. He is revealing to me & reminding me of His great purpose. He is reminding me of His calling on my life. And it is oh so sweet. I cannot wait to share with you along the way friends. This season of my life is one where my Almighty Father is drawing me into himself & allowing me to taste yet again that He is good. He is showing me that I am not much different than the insecure fearful Gideon, whom God chose to use to do great things. This is a sweet season.

Taste & see that The Lord is good. ~Psalm 34:8

Awake My Soul


Awake my Soul by Chris Tomlin

This song has been speaking to me a lot lately. You see I was once the dry bones. I was once without life. Without hope. Without light. I was in desperate need of the Father’s love & life.

I lived my life as a teenager in total opposite of what I have been taught. I went to church. I was part of the youth group. I believed in God. But all of that wasn’t enough to make me a disciple of Jesus Christ. It wasn’t enough to just go through the motions.

I partied. I hung out with the wrong crowd. I did things I shutter at the thought of today. I had not a single care in the world. Was it that my parents didn’t love me enough? No. Was it that I didn’t know right from wrong. No. Was it that my parents didn’t care? No. It came down to one word: REBELLION. I was living a life of rebellion. Rebellion against my parents. Rebellion against everything I had been taught. And rebellion against God.

I was in a dark place. I was in a barren place. A place without life or hope. I was the dry bones in the dry valley. Did I realize that at the time? Not for one moment. It wasn’t until I became an adult, that my eyes were opened to the fact that I was a walking skeleton. I realized my desperate need for God. I needed my Savior. I needed Him to speak life into me.

The girl that was once the dry bones is only a memory to me now. I feel for her. I see her pain now. I see her emptiness. She has allowed me to see though, that there area my other people just like her. Walking skeletons without a clue of how much they are in need of the Savior’s love.

I am alive in Christ now. I am no longer the walking skeleton. The breathe of God swept over me & He spoke life into me. I get chills just thinking about how
much He loves me. And I can’t help but picture myself at His feet thanking Him as I weep for joy, for speaking life into me. He has redeemed me. He can redeem you.

I know He has called me to share His great love with others. My story has purpose for Him. My passion for health & fitness is not the only passion He has given me. I have a passion to speak into lives & share the love of Christ with as many as possible.

My friend, I pray today that you will awake to His great love for you & to your desperate need of Him. He loves you with a crazy limitless love. And He is waiting to speak life into you. May He resurrect your dry bones today.

Grace & Peace, Jaclyn

<I would love to pray for you in any way I can.

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