JOY LIKE A FOUNTAIN!

Do you have joy like a fountain? Or has your well all dried up? Are you able to follow the Apostle Paul’s advice, “Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, keep being joyful…” – my paraphrase of Philippians 3:1.
 
No one likes to take advice from someone who cannot relate to all you may have been through or are currently going through. However, Paul encountered much adversity and suffered many hardships all while serving the Lord, including the following and much more:  being imprisoned, 5 times whipped with 39 lashes, 3 times beaten with rods, robbed, mistreated and misunderstood by his own people and others, experiencing broken friendships, and often not having enough food to eat – AND ALL WHILE FAITHFULLY SERVING GOD!  STILL HIS MESSAGE WAS REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS!
 
 
Do you have joy no matter what is happening to you and/or is going on around you?
 
 
This is one of the messages God has given me in the midst of life’s trials and messiness. Some people think joy is the absence of pain. It’s not. Often, those whose lives are filled with much sorrow and many challenges experience the most joy. In God’s presence is fullness of JOY! (Psalm 16:11)
Jesus told us the things He told us in His Word SO THAT our JOY WOULD OVERFLOW (John 15:11). Paul reminds us to “be joyful in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4).  Many have forgotten that it is part of God’s will for us to be continually joyful (1 Thessalonians 5:16).
 
Okay, so I realize even sharing these verses doesn’t automatically make us oh so joyful.
Since I always get this right and do it so well, I’m always bright and cheery Joyful Jenny – haha! NOT! I’m just pressing into God’s grace more and more and desire to obey; and, over the last few years especially, God has been bringing a restoration of joy in my life personally. The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10) and this is one of the reasons the enemy is after our joy.

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Oh So Spiritual One

The truly godly and spiritual are called to a ministry of restoration. So, how “spiritual” are you?

#youwhoarespiritual #restore #withgentleness #Galatians6 #ministry #reconciliation #restoration #imitateChrist #loveinaction

How are you doing spiritual one in your ministry of restoration?  How is your spirit of gentleness?

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Grace to Grace 



God give us grace. 

Let us take our rightful place

– humbly submitted to You,

as all our pride is totally erased.

May we arise in boldness 

– empowered by Your Spirit, 

as we daily seek Your face.

Strengthen us to 

defeat our enemy and all his lies, 

as we run with mission towards

finishing our race.

Keep us focused on the prize of Heaven

as we follow all Your ways.

Your love, Your light, Your truth,

Your freedom – help us always to embrace.

All our lives are for Your glory, 

so we will trust You with our restoration 

stories.  

Let us reach out as You lead us 

to bring others to Your grace.

Thank You Lord for this day!

Thank You Lord for Your grace!

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TIME to TREASURE


Time is such a treasure.

 Taking time for what lasts throughout time is time well spent

and is usually what our hearts treasure the most.

Many of us don’t even know what we treasure most anymore, because we feel we don’t have enough time, or, we don’t take time to discover what matters most to us.

We all need to know who we are – our true identity – but that takes TIME.

We all need to know that we are loved unconditionally by God – but that takes TIME.

We all need to know that we are valued – not based on what we do but because we are created in the image of God – but that takes TIME.

We all need healing for our wounded and broken hearts – but that takes TIME.

We all need to know The One who created us – but that takes TIME.

We all need to know why we were created – but that takes TIME.

We all need community, connection, and fellowship with others – but that takes TIME.

We all need to experience loving relationships – to love and be loved – but that takes TIME.

Knowing defined as having knowledge, comprehension and understanding of the above to the degree that it affects the very core of our being, our character, our attitudes, our decisions and lifestyle choices.  

Knowing all of the above requires TIME with God and TIME with others.  Perhaps that is why Jesus told us the greatest commandment of all was to love God and to love people as we love ourselves.  LOVE will cost us TIME.  Those whom we love, we will desire to spend TIME with – this is true in our relationship with God and with others.  Through spending time with God in His Word, with others, and times alone in reflection, we discover the truth about God’s character, the truth about others we are in relationship with, and we ultimately discover our truest selves.  That is, if we take enough time for these truths to be revealed.  In order to love ourselves, and see ourselves through the Father’s eyes, we will have to be okay with spending some time alone with God in order to really receive the Father’s unconditional love for us.  

When the enemy of our souls isn’t successful at stealing our salvation by grace through faith, he works overtime to entrap and ensnare us with time spent on the things our hearts don’t treasure in the end at all.  

Loving God and loving the beloved ones He has placed within our lives

are gifts we should always treasure.  

I haven’t always been blessed with the privilege of being able to take as much time to reflect, ponder and pray, as I do now, so it is truly a treasure to me, and this makes my heart overflow with gratitude.  Yes, I’ve gone through years past with the hustling and bustling about from daylight to late night where juggling responsibilities as a help mate, mom, chauffeur, ministry leader, and dance teacher amidst a household full of committed schedules and extra-curricular activities, etc. etc. were definite time hindrances to pondering on such timeless and treasured things. Today is different. This season of my life is different. Thank You, Lord.  And I truly believe this is another one of those “desires of the heart” blessings that Psalm 37:4 speaks of that I am enjoying during this time in my life.  As we delight in God, He begins to awaken things inside of us we never imagined were there.  During my early morning meditation on some life giving truths, I purposefully turned on the sounds of the gloriously soothing voice of Christy Nockels, listening to one of her newest albums entitled, “Be Held – Lullabies for the Beloved.”  As the song, “His Banner Over Me” enveloped my study space, my reflecting mind took me back to the young children I taught to dance to this song (another version) many years ago. Then, suddenly, my spirit was arrested and I followed the prompting to move from my writing desk to my comfy cushioned chair, lean back and close my eyes.  “Stop. Rest. Be still.”  These were the gentle whispering words I heard. With lifted arms, soaking in the Father’s presence, as a flow of heart echoing tears released down my cheeks, I could sense I was receiving more of God’s healing into this older child’s heart.  This was a time to treasure the Father’s presence.  

***

Releasing our burdens, our broken dreams,

and our broken hearts to the Father only occurs as we take time to be with Him.  

***

We are not just saved by God and then we are done.

God continues His saving, redeeming, healing, comforting and restoring

work within us until all our time on earth is done

– that is, as we surrender our time to Him for this treasured work to be done.

***

“Be Held” – isn’t this what our Abba Daddy desires for us to experience?  Yes, the grace of being held by God like a father holds his child. Our Heavenly Father’s grace covers us and makes us feel securely loved. The arms that once graced the wooden cross are open wide still today longing to wrap His loving embrace around your heart. The Father desires to hold us all in His loving arms, if we would only come and sit in His lap – you know – open up the Psalms – play music that permeates the atmosphere with the sound of Heaven, calls you to His throne wherever you are, and reminds you that the God of all time desires to hold you and spend time with you. That’s where all the healing, peace, and joy flow – from the Father’s heart.  Have you ever desired to just hold your toddler, but they were so fidgety with energy or so distracted by all the sights and sounds around them that they began to squirm, kick, and wiggle their way right out of your arms?  (If you are a parent or grandparent, you get this. If not, perhaps those who are pet owners can relate to it with your puppy or kitty.)  As adults, we are frequently too busy to simply sit still in the Father’s presence and “be held” – there’s either no TIME or no desire.  Just as we desire to hold, comfort, and express love to our own children, so does the Father God desire to hold, comfort and pour out His love to us as His children too.  

Being held by God may seem like a foreign concept to you, but if more of us were experiencing the loving comfort, peace, and healing of God on a consistent basis, perhaps the TIMES we are living in would be a little less turbulent, or at least, our own hearts might be more consumed with the peace of God and faith in God through the tumultuous times we are living in.  

If setting aside time alone with God is not a common practice for you, I encourage you to start making this a priority, preferably daily, or, at least weekly.  Eliminate distractions, turn off your phone and all other media related devices, turn on peaceful and spirit calming worship music and open up The Bible.  Begin with the Psalms (such as Psalm 34, Psalm 103, Psalm 107, or Psalm 136 – a few good ones to start with) or The Gospel According to John or 1 John. Take time to pray, reflect, rest, and “Be still and know that He is God.” (Psalm 46:10)

Lord, I pray for the ones I love and the ones You love to begin taking more time to be still in Your presence, to rest, to sit, to wait, to listen, and to receive all the beautiful and timeless treasures You desire to fill our days with.  Thank You, Lord, for giving me TIME to just be with You and be held by You today.  I know for sure that all our days and times are in Your hand, and all our best times are yet to come. Amen.

***

When we take time to treasure what matters most,

we find the true treasures that last throughout all time.

 

***

 

Heaven will be a place of endless time

for all the beautiful things that honor God our Creator

and the treasures of His faithful and beloved ones.

 

***

Time withheld from God keeps us from being held by God.

***

“If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing I’d like to do, is to save everyday ’til eternity passes away, just to spend them with you …”  These lyrics from the touching song, Time in a Bottle, by Jim Croce are gripping.  Isn’t it comforting to know that eternity does not pass away, and that the redeemed of the Lord will spend all our days with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

Lord, teach us to number our days,

that we may gain a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12) Amen.

 

“For such a time as this, I was placed upon the earth to hear the voice of God and do His will whatever it is…” song lyrics from “For Such a Time as This” by Wayne Watson

 

Everything Has Its Time

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born,
    And a time to die;
A time to plant,
    And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
    And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
    And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
    And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
    And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
    And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
    And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
    And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
    And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
    And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
    And a time to speak;
A time to love,
    And a time to hate;
A time of war,
    And a time of peace.

 

 I will bless the Lord at all times… Psalm 34:1

 

The one thing I ask of the Lord
    the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
    delighting in the Lord’s perfections
    and meditating in his Temple.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
    he will hide me in his sanctuary.
    He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Then I will hold my head high
    above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
    singing and praising the Lord with music.

Psalm 27:4-6

 

 

Other Scripture References:  Mark 12:28-31; Romans 5:8; Romans 8:15; 1 John 4:7-10; Psalm 40:8; 2 Timothy 1:8-11 

 

When we don’t take time to COME APART from all the demands and stresses of this life and spend time being refreshed in the presence of God, we end up COMING APART in some way physically, spiritually, emotionally or mentally.

 

 

 

#WOW #Breakthrough

IMG_3974
Pic above taken of students bowing in prayer at Sylacauga High School in a student led assembly following a presentation utilizing the spoken word, a powerful story, music and dance.*  The title of the the dance portion of this presentation was “Breakthrough” and breakthrough in the spirit definitely occurred.
Last week was a WOW Week! Another WEEK OF WARFARE and a WEEK OF WITNESSING God pouring out His Spirit in the public schools! First, at Nichols Lawson Middle School on Friday, August 11th, and then again on Wednesday, August 16th, at Sylacauga High School. Mighty warfare always precedes breakthrough in the Spirit. God is moving mightily and He is moving in uncommon places. God is going to use the youth and He is going to use the arts too! Just as He did in this assembly! He is going to use the least likely and the unexpected ALL FOR HIS GLORY!
So shall they fear
The name of the Lord from the west,
And His glory from the rising of the sun;
When the enemy comes in like a flood,
The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him. (Isaiah 59:19 NKJV)

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Restored on June 13th

PHOTOS & VIDEOS 2013-2015 - 386 of 557

Twenty-three years ago today on June 13, 1994, I awoke to a nightmare like experience.  I will never forget it.  I remember the telephone ringing early that Monday morning, and immediately having an uneasiness in my spirit.  The next thing I knew I was belted over in a painful pool of unconsolable tears on my cold, tiled kitchen floor.  For some, their gut wrenching sorrow is released solely through tears that are only seen and never heard; but on this day, my wailing cries of lament were anything but silent, and they immediately prompted my husband to cry out for help too.  Amidst the foggy veil over my mind, the only thing I remember my husband saying to our Pastor on the other end of the phone was, “I need your help.”  

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Speak Life


What was the last thing you said to one of your loved ones? Are you okay if that is the last thing they ever hear you speak? We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. Speak life today beloved one. 
#Speaklife 

#wordsarepowerful 

#encourageoneanother

#noregrets
“You have minds like a snake pit! How do you suppose what you say is worth anything when you are so foul-minded? It’s your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words. A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is a blight on the orchard. Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.” (Words of Jesus, Matthew 12:34-37 The Message)

#wordsofJesus

#outoftheheartthemouthspeaks

#yourheartisspeaking
Prayer:

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a loyal spirit within me. Amen. 

(Psalm 19:14; Psalm 51:10)

It is always good to pray The Word of God over your heart and life.

It is always good to pray before you speak too. Pray, pray, pray, wait, wait, wait…then speak life. Life giving words can be words of correction too, spoken in love from a heart that desires only the best for the person they are spoken to. 

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (Words of Jesus, John 6:63)

Morning has broken…

It is also good to proclaim and sing of God’s love and faithfulness in and through our mourning and loss.  
#morninghasbroken #mourninghasbroken

One of my dearest friends, a creative spirit, and a mighty warrior woman of God is using the beautiful, old song by Cat Stevens entitled “Morning has Broken” in our upcoming dance studio performance. While listening to it this morning, it made me break out in tears and in a spontaneous dance.

I love this song.  All beautiful music is a gift from God.🎼💜

Link below to song on YouTube:

I will praise the Lord at all times.  His praise shall continually flow from my lips. (Psalm 34:1)



Because I’m so close to this dear one, I haven’t been able to share much about the recent loss of her beloved son, which occurred only a little over a week following the loss of her older sister.  How many of us can relate to the old saying, “when it rains it pours.” Sadly it seems this is too often a true statement.  Our hard times and trials seem to have a tendency of crashing into our lives without any warning simultaneously, one on top of another until it almost seems unbearable (none of us want to relate to Job in the slightest degree).  I have felt the heaviness of the loss of her precious son, Ramey, with her. Prayers over my special friend, Jeanna, are appreciated. All of us Moms can only imagine what this painful loss would feel like. 
“Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! (Isaiah 49:15)
Still, we know our God is faithful. He heals the broken-hearted and He has and He will again turn our “mourning into dancing.” (Lamentations 3:20-24; Psalm 30:11; Psalm 147:3 Romans 12:15)

God brought this special friend into my life over 20 years ago through the calling to praise Him with our dancing (Psalm 149:3), and He is still using this gift of dance to minister to us and through us to this day. I love you and thank God always for the gift of you, my special and treasured friend. (Proverbs 17:17) I felt compelled to write this post in your honor today, beautiful one.

Our “mourning has broken” out into praise for all our days. Praise God in and through the valley and on the mountaintop too. For this is the only way for all the sons and daughters of God to make it through. Praise and worship the Lord through all your sorrow and your pain. After a while, only the powerful presence of the Spirit of God will remain.




Our God has given us a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. (Isaiah 61:3)
Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)




Let us find a good musician to play the harp whenever the tormenting spirit troubles you. He will play soothing music, and you will soon be well again.” “All right,” Saul said. “Find me someone who plays well, and bring him here.” 1 Samuel 16:16-17