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Archive for the tag “savior”

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

Opening the Bottle and Sharing My Story…..


This is not an easy blog post for me, but it is one that I feel God is leading me to share with you guys. Believe me when I say that it has got to be God doing the nudging on this, because I am a “bottler.” Yep, I tend to “bottle” things. I don’t like to share really personal things, and I have a tendency to respond with, “nothing” when asked, “what’s wrong?”, even though my face cannot hide that something is bothering me. But alas, here I am about to open the bottle and share something really personal. Not because I want to have everyone know my business, but because I feel that God is wanting me to share my story so that it might help someone else. So bear with me if this post isn’t all “rainbows & butterflies”, and if I come across a bit spastic. It’s about to get real peeps.

April 10, 2010 was one of the happiest days of my life. The sun was shining. The skies were crystal blue. And I was about to marry the man of my dreams. Oh yes, to say I was overjoyed on that day is an understatement. Our family & friends all gathered to watch as we said our vows and committed our lives to one another. As I looked into my husband’s eyes I not only felt the love he had for me, but I knew it. I knew this man loved me with everything within him. I was totally smitten with him (and still am). The day after our wedding we headed off to spend a week in Savannah, GA. (If you have never been there before, I highly recommend you go at least once. It is a beautiful & magical place.) We had so much fun eating, touring, relaxing, and eating some more during that week. We also began discussing in more detail what we wanted as a married couple. And of course kids was one of our topics of discussion.

We already had three kids. He had two boys from a previous marriage, and I had a daughter from a previous marriage. But we knew that we wanted to have a child together. So, we thought that since we already had three kids there would be no sense in putting it off. We decided to go ahead and begin pursuing having a child together.

“This won’t be hard,” I thought to myself. We will have a beautiful baby in no time! Well, months passed and still no baby. I didn’t worry too much to begin with, as it did take me a year to get pregnant with my daughter. Then, a few more months passed. By this time, I was beginning to panic a bit. I shared my concern with my husband, who of course told me not to worry and that it would happen. I decided to at least consult with my doctor just to make sure. She told me that she saw no reason that we shouldn’t get pregnant, since I had one successful pregnancy (a had a miscarriage a year after giving birth to my daughter) and my husband had fathered two children already. She told me to give it to the following spring, and if I still wasn’t pregnant to come back. Well, spring rolled around and still no baby. I went back to my doctor, who then suggested having some tests run. “Here we go,” I thought. “Let the science experiment begin.” She also suggested that I begin charting and using ovulation predicting kits (OPKs). I began charting, temping, and using OPKs.

The first test was hysterosalpingogram (HSG). For those of you who do not know what this is, it is where you have blue dye released into your uterus to see whether or not you have blocked fallopian tubes. I was a bit nervous over this, as I didn’t really know what to expect. During the test, my blood pressure actually dropped a bit (I am guessing due to my nerves) but the nurses instructed me that was normal, and they helped me to balance out. I had cramps afterward, but no major side effects. My doctor came to talk with me after the procedure, and she informed me that everything looked good. I was relieved. She then explained that some women become pregnant after these procedures, as it actually flushes the tubes and uterus a bit. That got me a bit hopeful.

The second test was having my husband tested. His test came back normal, so nothing to sweat on his end. Ok, more hope! Then, a few more months went by and still not baby. By this time I was asking my doctor to test my hormones or anything else that could be tested. I wanted answers! She referred me to an RE.

The RE tested my progesterone levels, which came back normal. The RE discussed the next steps to take and all the possible outcomes of it all, but by this time it was appointment time. (My husband is a United Methodist Pastor, so we can be moved at appointment time). We got the news that we would be moving. So, I contacted my RE and explained that I could no longer continue with my appointments due to us moving, as well as it was getting to be super expensive.

I was losing hope at this time. Yes, I still prayed. Yes, I still cried out to God asking for our little blessing. Yes, I still believed that He was a God of miracles. But let me tell you, when you are walking through a very dark valley, it becomes very difficult to be a ray of sunshine. Anybody relate? My husband still was encouraging me and trying to be supportive and positive. He kept telling me, “We will have our child of promise, just like Abraham & Sarah.” I know he was being supportive, but when he said that all I could think was, “Dear God, please don’t wait until I am 90 years old and my husband is in 100’s before you bless us with our child of promise.” Just being real here folks. I kept picturing Sarah in her old age, and thinking that I didn’t want to be old when I finally got pregnant!

I have heard, “Oh it will happen”and “You already had one child, so you know you can get pregnant again.” Although these come from good motives and intentions (and sweet people), they cut like a knife when IT ISN”T HAPPENING for you. As you watch as your friends and complete strangers announce their pregnancies and post pictures all over Facebook, while you sit and wait and wait and wait and wait. All the while trying to cling to a God who you know is forever faithful, but you can’t understand why He is allowing you to go through this.

You cry out to Him daily asking Him, “Why?” You tell Him that you are mad at Him, and that you know He has a great and wonderful plan for you, but the life of you, you just can’t see it at the moment. You tell Him that you don’t want to be bitter and resentful, and you want to be genuinely happy for the ones who ARE getting pregnant, but you are just finding it difficult to do. You tell Him you just want to scream at Him. You find yourself praying to Him, not really sure if He hears your prayers any more. You question if this is a punishment for past sins. And the list goes on and on.

I have no idea why God is allowing this valley in my life. I have no way of knowing if I will ever have the joy of being pregnant again. Maybe God is leading us in the direction of adoption. I can’t answer that right now. But what I can know for sure, is that with all my doubts, tantrums, fits, insecurities, and questions, my God IS forever faithful. He has not left my side even though I have felt as if He has at times. When I cry, He cries. When I hurt, He hurts. And right now, I feel Him leading me to share my story. There are more women like me out there. Women struggling with infertility in way or another. Whether it is first time infertility, unexplained secondary infertility (my case), or some other form of infertility the hurt is just the same. The struggle is just the same. If you are one of these women, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. And God has not abandoned you. I pray for you fellow sisters, and I hope that you won’t be afraid to share your story when the time is right.

I am still praying and believing for our child of promise (or children of promise). We even have names for them, Ada Willow Turner and Liam Eli Turner. Whether God blesses us with them through pregnancy or adoption, one day I will finally hold them in my arms.

Never give up beloveds. Never lose hope. Your Savior has you, cares for you, and loves you more than you can ever imagine.

“Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” Psalm 105:4 Image

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