Faith in the Waiting

Our faith is tried and tested in the waiting for answers to prayers and waiting to see promises fulfilled.

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In the waiting, we are transformed.

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In the waiting, hidden motives and attitudes of our hearts are revealed.

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In the waiting, our faith grows stronger.

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In the waiting, we grow stronger.

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In the waiting, we are challenged to grow deeper in Christ.

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In the waiting, there is a constant fight for our faith to waiver.

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In the waiting, the enemy schemes for us to fall into the trap of doubt, fear, compromise, worry, and soaking in self pity.

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In the waiting, Jesus calls us to the joy of His presence, while the enemy is calling us to a pity party.

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We have to keep on believing and trusting God and His Word without seeing.

This is faith.

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Do we still love, serve, and passionately praise and worship God while we are waiting on answers and promises we are believing and standing on?

We don’t love, serve or worship God based on His answering our requests. We love, serve and worship God because of Who He is.

God has already demonstrated His amazing love and faithfulness to us while providing for the forgiveness of our sins, salvation, and abundant and eternal life through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.

Our part now is to love Him back with “ALL our heart, soul, mind and strength” and to live “by faith and not by sight.”

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Wait in the Lord’s presence, beloved ones – in worship – in prayer – in The Word – and in faith – and be strengthened today.He is our exceeding great reward. Amen.

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*Pray and wait.

*Pray and worship.

*Pray and serve.

*Pray and believe.

*Pray in faith.

*Pray continually.

*Get stronger.

*Grow deeper.

*Wait on the Lord.

*The best is yet to come!

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Isaiah 40:27-31

Romans 5:8

John 10:10

Psalm 16:11

2 Corinthians 5:7

Mark 12:29-31

Genesis 15:1

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Worship in the waiting:

 

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ALWAYS REMEMBER…

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I have my dance students repeat this at the end of every single class.  I started doing this more consistently this past year.  What I love observing – and it occurs every single time – are the smiles that can’t be held back as these beautiful ones repeat these simple truths out loud.  

Yes, I have them say these words at least 3 times each class:

I AM LOVED

I AM SPECIAL

IAM CHOSEN

I AM CALLED

…OUT OF DARKNESS INTO GOD’S MARVELOUS LIGHT TO SHINE HIS LIGHT AND RADIATE HIS GLORY!

Now they know it by heart.  And this, my friend, is God’s heart for us.  

This is a faith principle.  We cannot believe what we do not speak out of our mouths.  We cannot speak about God, ourselves and others what we do not believe.  Our speech should match our faith in God, our beliefs about God, ourselves and others.

This isn’t something we just hear one time and we have it.  That’s not how faith works either.  Speaking these words out loud over ourselves doesn’t mean we really know and believe them either.  Sometimes, it may take months or years before we finally get certain truths deep within our minds, hearts and spirits.  We have to begin somewhere.

Hearing truth, receiving truth, speaking truth, believing truth,

and then living daily by the truth is a process.*

Out of the heart, the mouth speaks.

for whatever is in your heart determines what you say. (Matthew 12:34) 

I pray you get this in your heart, mind and spirit today beloved one.

Speak Truth and life over yourself and others today.

Always remember…

YOU ARE LOVED…

…with an everlasting and unconditional love.

Jeremiah 31:3; John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:19

YOU ARE SPECIAL…

…God’s unique creation, fearfully and wonderfully made by the Master Artist; no one else even has your same fingerprints.

Ephesians 2:10; Psalm 139; Colossians 1:16

YOU ARE CHOSEN…

…to be God’s holy and royal one (daughter or son).

Psalm 45:11; Ephesians 1:4; Romans 8:30

YOU ARE CALLED…

…out of darkness into God’s marvelous light to proclaim His praises, shine His light and radiate His glory.

Isaiah 43:7; 1 Peter 2:9; Philippians 2:15

Do you know this deep within your heart and mind my friend?  

If you don’t.  This is something you need to know and always remember to never forget.

YOU ARE LOVED BEAUTIFUL ONE!

He wants us to always remember to never forget!

 

*See also Romans 10:9-10 and Ephesians 2:8-9 – We confess, we believe and we receive the gift of our salvation by faith.

Note:  The pic above is actually a T-shirt created by one of my beautiful students as a gift.

The Truth about LOVE

Have a LOVEly Day filled with LOVE!

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all His mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end. Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good. We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing Him directly just as He knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

1 Corinthians 13 – The Message

…for God is Love. 1 John 4:8

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Even though…yet I will…

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…are you living an “Even though…yet I will” life?

I’m guilty like every one else on social media of only or predominately posting the good, the happy, and the fun times. What would social media look like if we all posted all our heartbreaks, relationship struggles, disappointments, brokenness and tears, or uploaded video clips of our emotional meltdowns, family disagreements and arguments.  Oh, of course your family doesn’t have any of these. Yeah, right.

Sharing this post today just to say – please don’t think “Joyful Jenny” (as I keep referring to myself lately) encounters only the happy happy, joy joy scenarios and joyful situations all through her days.  Especially currently, there is something very painful and heartbreaking my family is walking through.  My laughing and smiling posts are not just me putting on a happy face either.  Even though all is not completely well, yet I still have the joy that God’s Spirit brings – even though, yet I still am experiencing God restoring the joy of my salvation. 

“Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me – now let me rejoice!”

 Psalm 51:8

The path along the deep and rugged valley roads of life we never planned to travel on come upon us like a sudden detour sign appearing out of nowhere.  Most of us, except the shallow, adversity free minority can relate. These life roadblocks or journey detours occur for various reasons – our own sin or the sins of others, our pride and rebellion, deception, addiction, our modern day idols (yes we have them), or just as a result of the fallen world we are living in.

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Who’s “on” FIRST?

In this new year, do you desire something new? A better you? A better life? A better way of living?

What do you do “first” every day?

Do you PRAY first or WORRY first?

Do you begin your day feasting on FEAR or FAITH?

Do you wake up worshiping God with songs of praise or singing along with the common place seductive & deceptive lyrics of today?

Do you give priority to what the popular voices in our world are saying or what the prophetic promises of God’s Word are eternally speaking?

Do you spend more time on Facebook than in The Greatest Book of all books?

Is your life filled with destructive drama or life giving peace?

Are you seeking a position, power, prestige or self-gratifying pleasure over God’s presence and purpose in your life?

Have you been happy with your previous ways of living your life?

Have your daily choices and habits led you to MORE JOY, FREEDOM, REST and PEACE?

Are your own habits and choices working well for you? Well, this post is not for you.

But if you are tired of your own ways, your own choices, and your same old results, I challenge you to surrender to something NEW.

Only a fool keeps doing the same thing over and over expecting new results.

The GOD who formed you and KNOWS EVERYTHING about you, and LOVES YOU MORE THAN ANYONE YOU’LL EVER KNOW, is able to make ALL THINGS NEW for you.

Take TIME to realign and submit to The Master’s plan and His sovereign design. Let God write your story all for His glory.

Begin fresh and anew today to put God and His Word first in EVERY area of your life. Prioritize prayer – talk to God FIRST every day before anyone else.  WAIT, be still and listen to God to speak to you through His Word FIRST before listening to anyone else.

Seek to obey and do things God’s way. Go higher by going lower. Humble yourself and receive the greatest reward of all.

In God’s presence is fullness of joy and at His right hand, are pleasures that last forever (Psalm 16:11).

In God’s kingdom, surrender leads to success by God’s standards. The kingdom of God is about living life by God’s good and right standards and being filled with the PEACE and JOY of God’s Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

God’s standards are based on His Word and not our own thoughts, philosophies or ideas.

God’s Word trumps the opinions of men.

So, who’s on FIRST in your daily life?

Is it you, another person, another agenda or is God and His plan really first in your heart and life?

 Jesus told us the FIRST and greatest commandment:

 You must love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matthew 22:37-40; Mark 12:29-31).  

Preaching this message to myself too!

A Prayer:

Lord, help us to seek first Your Kingdom, Your will, Your purpose, Your plan, and success according to Your definition. May we FIRST fully surrender our hearts – the place where everything in our lives starts. May we love you FIRST with ALL our hearts. As we keep seeking first to know You more and to promote all that is good, pure and lovely through our lives, may you fulfill Your promise to meet all our needs. Amen.

#SeekGodfirst

#Prayfirst

#TurnfirsttoGodandHisWord

#silenceothervoices

#surrendertoGodsstillsmallvoice

#submittoGodsWordovereveryotherword

#feastonfaithoverfear

#seekGodswill

#seekGodspurpose

#seekGodsglory

#thebelieversfirstpriority

#PrioritizetoputGodfirstineverything

#surrendertoGodsplan

#seektosucceedbyGodsstandards

#Reorderyourlife

#challengeyourself

#humbleyourself

#golowerandgohigher

#BestNewYearsresolutionever

#Happynewyou

#Hemakesallthingsnew

#Whosonfirstinyourdailylife?

#LoveGodfirstandforemost

The Greatest Words of all:

Matthew 24:35; Hebrews 11:6; Romans 5:8, 10:17, 12:1-2, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Philippians 4:6-7; Psalm 34:1, 96:1, 139:13-18; John 3:16-17; Isaiah 43:18-19; Revelation 21:5

My Wish: Christmas Presence for All!

My prayer for all my family and friends this Christmas is for each one to truly experience the peaceful PRESENCE of Christ. May each of you be blessed with TIME to quiet your mind, heart and spirit and encounter the PEACE and JOY all year our Savior brings.

You can experience His presence today – no wrapping, no lines, and no cash or credit cards needed.  This is truly the gift that keeps on giving and giving and giving…

I’m looking forward to just enjoying His presence this Christmas

and I hope you will too.

Where my gift giving capabilities end,

the gift I desire most to give to others is always freely available and is truly priceless.

I love giving gifts to others.  It’s one of my love languages. Obviously, I’m not alone in this.  Especially this time of year, everyone’s in the Christmas spirit and gift giving mode.

However, my giving and my time are limited, but the gift I desire most for others is UNLIMITED AND TIMELESS.

Christmas is not just about gifts and presents or even special times with family and those we have not seen for quite a while.  All these things are good and special and these are a few of my favorite things and the things I love about Christmas too.  Most of all, Christmas is about celebrating the Gift of God’s presence. The gift of God’s presence compares to no other gift or experience I’ve ever received or encountered.  I’m personally realizing this more as time goes on, and especially as family traditions change and keep changing.  This is the one constant that remains and never changes –“…and be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” – Jesus. His presence brings PEACE and JOY and pleasures forevermore!  Even when we are not able to give or receive the exact material gift we were hoping for, our house is not decorator ready, no beautiful family portrait Christmas cards get sent, no memorable family trip gets planned, we can’t even get everyone together for the annual Christmas worship event or holiday meal, etc. (you get the picture) or, on a deeper level – the prayer, hope, or dream we so desire to see fulfilled for a special loved one, family member or friend remains on our “wish” list – the greatest gifts of LOVE, JOY and PEACE from God’s Spirit forever remain. The unconditional and never ending love of God, the supernatural peace that transcends all our surrounding chaos, and the joy of knowing the Savior of the world overrides every unmet expectation, sorrow and loss.

Like numerous others, I always get very sentimental around this time of year – often shedding tears unexpectedly while wrapping gifts or listening to all the beautiful Christmas music.  Christmas stirs up memories of loved ones who will no longer join us at our family celebration – many are now glorying in the presence of Heaven, and some will miss our gathering because of various changes and choices dictated by our earthly situations.

Now, more than ever, I personally treasure God’s presence

 that forever remains with me year after year.

Yes, for many Christmas is just another holiday; but for followers of Christ, Christmas is truly a Holy Day of celebrating the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ the Word made flesh.  We celebrate His birth and worship Him as our mighty Savior and King.

He came as a gentle babe and still gently calls to all today.

Do you hear what I hear?  

Will you believe, not just in Santa Claus,

but in The Christ of Christmas, and receive Him today?

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He came as a child and will return as the King of kings.

Light and life to all He brings.

In order to know Him we must come in childlike faith

to receive all the love, grace, forgiveness and healing

of the long ago newborn babe and soon coming King.

As we humbly bow in worship as the wisemen did to honor Him,

we experience MORE JOY

than anything in this world even comes close to offering.

This makes our soul want to sing,

Glory to God in the Highest,”

peace and good will to ALL from our Mighty God and Counselor,

Everlasting Father and

Prince of Peace.

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Yes, God brought His present to us as a babe in the manger.  Jesus, The Messiah, “Immanuel – God with us” walked among us as the perfect, sinless son of God, and then sacrificed His life on the cross for our sins.  All who call on Him can be saved forever to live with Him throughout eternity.  You can experience His presence today – no wrapping, no lines, and no cash or credit cards needed.  This is truly the gift that keeps on giving and giving and giving…

I’m looking forward to just enjoying His presence this Christmas and I hope you will too.

JOY TO YOU ALL!

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!

With Love and Prayerfully,

Joyful Jenny

In His presence is fullness of JOY; at His right hand are pleasures forevermore!

Psalm 16:11

…but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”  Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,  “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”  Luke 2:10-14

For a child is born to us,
    a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
    And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

See also:  John 1; Luke 1:78-79: Romans 3:23-28; 5:8; 6:23; 10:9-10

What Child is This?

He came as a child although He is The King of kings. In order to receive from Him we must come in childlike faith to receive the salvation He brings.

As I reflect on the lyrics to many of our timeless and treasured Christmas songs, I am reminded of the powerful truths penned so many years ago that carry the true Christ-centered message of Christmas. Amidst all the business of the season, the gifts most needed are the peace and joy that knowing and worshiping King Jesus brings.

God’s PRESENCE is the best PRESENT of all! MERRY CHRISTmas!

Sharing one of my favorite renditions of “What Child is This?” by the gloriously gifted artist, Andre’ Bocelli:

I’ve created choreography to this song and repeated sharing it through various dance groups and students since 2009.  I’ve printed the original lyrics below written originally in 1865 and published in 1871 by William Chatterton Dix from Great Britain. Dix was an insurance company manager who suffered a serious illness and depression. During this time, he experienced a spiritual renewal that led him to write several hymns including the timeless and treasured lyrics of “What Child is This?” – lyrics printed below.*

Christmas is all centered around the birth of Christ, God’s greatest gift to the world.  A gift of endless love, amazing grace, and everlasting Truth that brings joy to the heart and sets captives free.  May the presence of His love, peace and JOY be yours not only at Christmas but every day of the year. When you experience the Christ of Christmas, every day can be THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!

*What Child is This? (Lyrics written by William Chatterton Dix, 1865)

What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?

Chorus:

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Two (2) Verses below not recalled often today:

(1 of 2)

Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
(2 of 2)

Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you;
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold, and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.

Repeat Chorus…

…This, this is Christ the King…

Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby;
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Repeat Chorus…

…This, this is Christ The King…

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them. That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story wereastonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

Luke 2:6-20