The Falcon

Hello again. Might I just say, that blank, bored expression looks absolutely gorgeous on you.

I think by now we’ve all heard about the Charleston shooting. If you haven’t, pick a news source, any news source, and head over to the front page. It’ll be there.

Racism is not dead. Not in America, probably not anywhere. Maybe this is what it took for a lot of us to get that. After hearing about what happened, my heart broke. That is absolutely devastating for everyone involved. I wondered at the ability of the families to look Dylann in the face and forgive him…and then I realized that the God we serve is HUGE. He is more than able to work even this for good.

Continue reading “The Falcon”

Running With Perseverance

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run this race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. ~Hebrews 12:1-2

This is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. It gets me every time I read it, so today I want to break it down and really let it sink in. Continue reading “Running With Perseverance”

When Christians Listen To Satan

Kind of a provocative title, isn’t it? But we all do it.

I’m not talking about having some kind of satanic ritual where you summon demons and sacrifice animals, so please don’t click away too fast.

What I’m talking about is listening to him when he’s trying to convince us to give into our sinful nature, and then later when he’s accusing us and throwing that same sin right in our faces saying, “Why should God give you a second chance? Look at what you did!”

Continue reading “When Christians Listen To Satan”

Why We Go Through Seasons

 

I just got out of a season, spiritually. It didn't last very long--maybe 3 or 4 weeks, about how long I've been out of school. It was a really difficult one to go through, though. It pushed me to my very limits. I was forced to lean on God's strength because I had none left of my own. What was that season?

Loneliness.

The summer didn't start out lonely. It started off incredible. I was home, the weather was perfect, I was getting along beautifully with my family, I had just started a new job where I absolutely LOVED my coworkers and could really see some close relationships possibly resulting from working together, I had a million plans for the summer--I was gonna walk with God and go to coffee shops and get in the best shape of my life and meet my future husband (okay, so that last thing wasn't so much a "plan," but I really felt like it was about to happen).

And then a guy appeared in my life. I'm not 100% sure, but I have reason to suspect that that was what set it all off. I won't go too much into detail about him, but suffice it to say that he was wrong for me in multiple ways but I was so excited at the prospect that I didn't want to let it go. I knew I was going to have to push God aside if things worked out. Just a little bit.

God was having none of that crap.

I mean, surprise surprise, right?

He was going to make me realize that He is all I need, period, and He was not going to let me get in the way of Him making me realize that. One by one, God began to strip away the layers that I had chosen and wrapped myself in so carefully. It got to the point where He really, really was all I had. A little bit of pain came along with that, if we're being honest. On my way to work one day I knew I was going to be late and there was more traffic than usual. It hit me that I was about to walk into a building where I would be by myself for the most part for around five hours. I was already having an especially hard time that day, and it all just washed over me and I started to cry right there in the middle of traffic. By the time I got to work I had pretty much settled down and I was able to pretend I was fine for everyone.

I don't say any of this to complain. I'm grateful for every second of what I went through for reasons I'll tell you in a minute. I only tell you all of this to let you know that seasons are not always fun. Sometimes they bring a lot of pain.

You know when you get a shot in your arm at the doctor's office and it stings really bad for a second, and maybe you can feel a little pain for a day or two afterwards? It's painful. But that doesn't mean people stop getting them, because it's protecting them from greater pain later on. Seasons like what I went through are the same way.

Of course, if it even needs to be said, seasons are not always painful. In the last year or two alone I've gone through seasons of breaking off anxiety, of learning how to love God's word (all of it, not just the parts I'm comfortable with), of becoming confident in the power of worship, of learning how to love God's people better, of learning how to evangelize (you can definitely expect a post on evangelism later on, and if that makes you want to groan, you are my target audience), of learning how to be pure in my thought life, the list goes on.

Taking Hold of Seasons

We need to not only be grudgingly accepting of the seasons God walks us through, we need to embrace them. I wholeheartedly believe that whoever you are, sitting in front of your computer screen or looking down at your phone--whoever you are, you are going through a season right now. If you don't know what it is, I would invite you to stop reading and take a moment to ask God what it is. Usually it will come to you without much difficulty because it's the thing you've been struggling with or excited about for a little bit of time now.

Seasons are not scary. They are a part of life. Just like summer, winter, fall, and spring, some are more enjoyable than others (*ahem* summer >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>winter), and all come with complications but are amazing in their own way. As much as I hate winter, I don't much like the prospect of sitting in front of a roaring fire wearing a snuggie and holding a mug of hot chocolate in the dead of summer.

So why am I so thankful for that season of loneliness? Well, I have never felt more full. Me and God spent a whole lot of time together. I was inspired to make this a blog all about what God is doing in my life because He is really dynamic in it these days. I heard Him speak really powerfully over me about things like why jealousy is stupid (I might write about that later too), why money is never going to get me anywhere, and the power of repentance. I started going through a Bible study with my mom. I learned what it means to take up my cross daily and follow Him. Being alone at a really laidback job gave me time to read Not a Fan (which I'm going to start recommending to everyone on the planet) and even listen to worship music every now and then. I learned how to be generous with the smaller-amount-of-money-than-expected that I've made so far instead of hoarding it, which I think I would have done if I had made much more. And I have DEFINITELY learned the value of living a healthy lifestyle. It's so much better, you guys. And I don't even feel like it's necessary to say, but my quiet times are off the charts these days.

I don't know what the results of your current season are going to be, and you may not either, but you need to start thanking God for it. Even if the thought of doing so makes you want to wallow in self-pity. Not that I would know. Because He knows what He's doing, and He's gonna shock you with the outcome. THEN you're going to want to thank Him. So, you know, you might as well start now.

Thanks for reading this extremely long, mostly self-centered post. I'll leave you with Philippians 3:13b-14:

But this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly all of God in Christ Jesus.

Until next time,

Jenna

Read This if You Hate Mornings

Hi, friend! You is lookin’ good today. Also, though, you is kind, you is smart, and you is important.

Just wanted you to know that.

First, let’s establish that spending time with God every single day is the most important part of having a relationship with Jesus. If you aren’t currently doing this, you are letting in far, far too much of the world. You’re letting in a lot of lies from the enemy. You aren’t allowing yourself a whole lot of the presence of God.

You might be feeling depressed.

If you are a Christian, I would urge you to get into the habit of doing this every single day. Not just most days.

It doesn’t have to be two hours long. If you read the Bible for five minutes and pray for one and you truly feel like that’s all God is asking from you, then you have your six minute quiet time and you be proud of that. Of course, two hour long quiet times are da bomb. But really, just make sure you’re getting in God’s word every day and I guarantee you’ll start to grow in your faith like nobody’s business.

Onto the subject of mornings. Did you know that, in the very first moments after you wake up each morning, God is excited that you’re awake? His father heart swells with love every time He thinks about His children. He looks at you and is overjoyed to call you His child. He doesn’t just tolerate you and get somewhat pissed every time He catches you sinning, he delights in you. He is also very excited to spend time with you.

Meanwhile, we are waking up full of whatever our hearts may have been subject to during the night. Maybe you had a dream that made you feel terrible. Maybe you just wake up in a bad mood. Maybe you wake up feeling alright, but you are absolutely dreading work today.

Time with God can’t always wait until later on in the day. We can’t afford to put it off that long, anyway.

Every morning is a chance to be renewed. I almost feel as though that’s why we have mornings: to be reminded that we have second chances day by day, that our Father is in the business of restoration and renewal.

You can be all hipster if you want and have your little mug of coffee with you as you sit out in nature and read your Bible and write in a journal. You can watch the sun rise as you pray (okay, I’ve never gotten up early enough to do quiet time this early. #goals). You can play worship music and ask God what your walk with Him will look like today.

But seriously, we need to stop letting mornings pass by. It’s such a waste. They really don’t suck that much, you know? I mean, here are some reasons why they’re kind of awesome:

  • Depending on how early it is, the world might be kind of grey and dreamy
  • Sunrises
  • A lot of people are still asleep, so everything is quiet
  • Anything could happen today
  • Breakfast!!!!!!
  • Coffeeeeee

For all you Christians out there, we are waging a spritual war. We have a real, unseen enemy whose favorite trick is to spin a web of lies and then tie you up in it until you believe every word. Spending time with God in the morning will reveal those lies for what they are. It’s very freeing.

I highly recommend it.

Until next time,

Jenna