Be brave, determined! And do it!


1 Chronicles 28:9-10“And you, Solomon my son, get to know well your father’s God; serve him with a whole heart and eager mind, for God examines every heart and sees through every motive. If you seek him, he’ll make sure you find him, but if you abandon him, he’ll leave you for good. Look sharp now! God has chosen you to build his holy house. Be brave, determined! And do it!”

Five Minute Friday post on “Determine.”

There were 51 occurences of the word “determine” in the Message version of the Bible. There were stories from the Old and New Testaments. I found this one to stick out before I even got to the New Testament verses. Usually I get bored or jaded by the Old Testament verses…I know I should not, but I do. I have also learned that you should not use the words “should not” to oneself!

The verse above caught my attention because I have studied Solomon in the past, and his name is familiar to me. However, this verse stood out as if reading it for the first time! Solomon, “know your Father well, serve Him, eagerly, and if you seek Him, you’ll find Him! If you leave Him, He’ll leave you for good.” (I disagree with this final statement since God is ever gracefilled and would never abandon us, but perhaps these specific words were ones that Solomon needed to hear.) The verse goes on to say “BE BRAVE…DETERMINED! And DO IT!”

Am I being brave? Determined? Doing the things this verse says (serving God with my whole heart and an eager mind, seeking Him, building His house)?

How determined are you to succeed? | Royston Guest
Royston Guest

I like to think that I am by simple acts of reading scripture, keeping devotionals in my inbox until I read them, loving others, and writing in this space for Him. My prayers go to Him, not to the empty air. I love him.

And, He loves me…and YOU!

Cheers to the weekend friends! I’m prayerful that our family will be embarking on a cruise later today. God willing, and the COVID tests all come back negative at the port! Hope we find God today in our own quiet or noisy place!

Love,

Jenn

Hard Pressed


Psalm 118:5-6 (New International Version) When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?

This is my Five Minute Friday post with the writing community on a Tuesday…a bit late to the party, but better late than never! Finding time to write is not always easy being that I share a home office with my husband who works from home. I could write at my laptop, but I always feel better at the desk with the regular keyboard and larger monitor.

This week’s word was IMPORTANT

Jesus is important. As the verse above says…He brings me into a spacious place when I feel hard pressed. That is really important for an anxious person like me. I usually have a grip on my anxiety as of late, but last night I was really on edge about whether or not I have COVID. I was exposed at work within our classroom and have had some of the symptoms over the weekend, but overall feel fine…but there’s the worry. We are supposed to leave Friday on a Disney Cruise. I know there are news stories discouraging people from crusing for COVID can be caught on the boat too.

The Disney Cruise policy is that we will all take a COVID test before we board the boat this Friday. I’m fearful I’ll be positive and force us to cancel our trip. I am planning to take a rapid test today to see. I was just going to wait til Friday since I feel overall fine, but there is that creeping feeling that I am positive. It would impact whether or not our kids should be going to school, whether I should be running errands, and whether or not we need to rebook our trip or start packing! This feels so important. Silly I know, but that’s me this week. I feel hard pressed.

Psalm 118:6 - Bible verse (KJV) - DailyVerses.net

This verse is reminding me that I need to cry out to the Lord, He is with me, and I need not be afraid. As fellow mortals there is always a chance of exposure now. There is a chance I have it and a chance I don’t. The important thing is the Lord is with me regardless. Prayers for me as I go through the rest of the week please! That my anxiety stays at bay about COVID on or off the boat.

Love,

Jennifer

You Never Fully Know Another’s Burdens


Matthew 11:28 (New International Version) “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Yesterday, I was struck by the story of Vincent Van Gogh. My husband took me to an “Immersive Van Gogh Experience” in the convention center near our home. We were not really sure what to expect, but it was really interesting. There was a large room with white walls where they projected paintings of Van Gogh onto the wall with animations and music. It was a half hour of intrigue. After the show we backtracked to the beginning where there was a timeline of Van Gogh’s work.

Did you know that his work was plagued by mental illness and loss? He started his most serious painting after leaving the Netherlands. He had recently lost his father and nearly lost his girlfriend to suicide. He moved to France and painted a lot. Through his middle age he struggled with mental illness himself. Many know the chopping off of the ear story. But did you know that he checked himself into an asylum? He eventually left the asylum and went through a manic phase of painting MANY works. He eventually shot himself, and sadly a young man in his 30s was too heavily burdened needing eternal rest.

The Immersive Van Gogh Experience, December 27, 2021

His paintings have become popular through the centuries, and now of course are analyzed based on his struggles. I wonder if anyone fully knew how much he was hurting or how he was just being his own crazy self? We never know fully another’s burdens. But, our Mighty Father calls us to come to him with our burdens and HE will give us rest. Did Van Gogh know the Lord? There was nothing about that faith question in the timeline of this artist.

I’m so thankful that I DO know the Father. In my struggles with mental illness I can pray and come to the Father, resting at His feet knowing that He has a plan for helping me through this one crazy life that I’ve been given. We are each living through moments that will make us weary, and the struggles will be very real.

We have the chance to choose what we do with our time. Will we paint? Will we write? Will we read things that edify us? Will we find someone to hug? Our lives count, and our Father is standing by us everyday. He wants us to come to Him.

“I pray you know the peace of God.”

That is something I truly wish everyone would know. You never know another’s burdens so if you see someone struggling…pray for peace. I especially want my family to know about the peace and love of Jesus. The above quote is a line from a song that coincidentally played as I finished up this post. It’s from a “Song For My Children” by Dave Barnes. A church made a music video here…

Praising Him


Psalm 103:1-2 (New International Version) 

Of David.

Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—

Praising Him is what we could start everyday with…praising Him for breath in our lungs, for family, for hot tea with honey, and for the sun peeking through the trees. We are a people of praise. We can take advice from David above…praise Him from our inmost being…praise Him for being Him.

His love is wide. His love is great. His love is a gift freely given.

We can celebrate the birth of Christ and what that means for our salvation. As a parent I rejoiced when our sons were born. How special it must have been for Mary and Joseph to see their son, Jesus. They didn’t know His destiny, just as we don’t know how the lives of our children will go…what they will grow up to be and do. We trust in Him, and we praise Him for the opportunity to be parents and be a family.

I’m going to praise Him today for these gifts. What can you praise Him for? What can you sing today with your heart song? Blessings to you friends.

The Family of God Group Activities | Sermons4Kids

Children’s Prayers


Last week I shared that I started a new job…it plays into my Five Minute Friday post again…this week’s word is: PRAYER.

I have so enjoyed the fact that there are multiple times during the day we pray with the students at our school. We pray at the beginning of the day. We pray before we wash our hands for snack and lunch. We pray for our friends that are absent during circle time and to have a good and loving day. We also pray at the beginning of nap time.

There is a job in the class of Prayer Director…one of the kids gets to choose the prayers for snack and lunch. There are several posted to the wall, each with a different color. This week’s chosen prayer again and again was the pink prayer:

God Our Father, (children echo God Our Father)

Thank you now! (Thank you now!)

For our many blessings (for our many blessings)

Amen. (Amen.)

What a simple and direct prayer. We are grateful people. We are thanking Him for our many blessings. We are bowing to Him. We are bringing our minds to a pause and opening our hearts. It is a beautiful thing to hear these little voices. I am so very grateful that there are prayers throughout the day.

I’m working to pray myself a bit more too. It’s hard for me to remember…but slowly I’m turning my mind and heart to Him in quiet moments. I also enjoy reading devotionals, and I feel that as I’m reading scripture that is a prayer of my heart as well. He is speaking to us through His Word. Amen!

He is Risen!


Jesus Has Risen

24 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.

Writing this morning with the Five Minute Friday community on the word MORNING.

The women went in the morning to tend to Jesus’ body with love and care. They found He had risen! What good morning news when their expectations were for mourning they found surprise joy! Maybe some days are like that for me too…

I expect duties that I’ll have to do each morning but find unexpected moments with others…

moments they will want to share something,

moments when they will need my help,

moments when the little ones at work will want to play.

Sometimes it’s good to remember that your plans may change. The women in this story were tasked with sharing the good news when they left the tomb. Their morning plans changed. Are we open to when Jesus changes our plans?

Jesus, the son of God, is at work in His Holy Spirit within us. May we feel this presence and act according to where and with whom it calls us to be. He is risen, and we too must rise each day willing to serve Him.

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