The Kingdom Building Call (Part One)

Kingdom Building Through the Life of Jeremiah

(Week One)

Today’s blog post is longer than average. This is because I’m providing information on how to use the study, as well as adding an introduction. Please don’t be put off by this. Since you’ll only be receiving blog posts on Wednesdays, feel free to break the study into pieces and take it one small portion at a time throughout the week.

What you need to know before beginning this study:

  • Jeremiah is a very large book of the Bible, fifty-two chapters to be exact. It is also not written in chronological order. This means that for the sake of a six week study, we will be discussing highlights of Jeremiah’s life as it relates to kingdom building, his ministry, how he dealt with his calling, and his interactions with God. We will not be covering the entire fifty-two chapters.
  • It will be helpful to have a journal alongside your Bible as you study. There will be questions to answer, key verses, and prayers along the way that will be worth writing down throughout the journey. (This isn’t required, only recommended in order to gain the most from the study.)
  • Every week as we begin the study, you will see a Key Point of Struggle and a Key Proof of Comfort listed. The Key Point of Struggle is a piece of the study that could possibly stir the most angst inside you as you’re working to seek purpose and live it well. The Key Proof of Comfort is a piece of the study that will help calm your soul as we discover truth together.

 

Introduction

We have each been created by the Maker of the universe – intricately woven with matchless pieces from Himself that gives us just a hint of who He is and the smallest clue as to who we are. Upon creation He fills us with longing that leaks from our souls. Little-by-little from the time we have intelligent thought we begin the lifelong search of figuring out what we were created to do and why.

Those of us who know with all certainty exactly who made us, know the foundation of truth in Psalm 139. We are ready for our assignments, and just like a bunch of small children who want to please their teacher with the correct answer, we raise our hands while jumping wildly from our seats begging, “Pick me, Lord, pick me!” We recognize our gifts have marked us with unique stamps of purpose, and we are ready to own our callings.

Women like us come wrapped in passion. We seek purpose and gain worth from figuring out what we were born to do and then pursue doing it well. Fueled by the desire to use our gifts we pray to thrive where He sends us. But sometimes He sends us to unexpected places and assigns tough tasks that require much more than our talents and abilities can offer. We quickly learn this “thing” He sent us to do is so much bigger than us. And then we realize something even more terrifying: this actually has nothing to do with us at all. We possess zero control and there’s more to this calling than we ever imagined.

No matter your mission, serving Christ is not platforms and accolades. Whether you stand on a stage, feed the homeless, volunteer in Sunday school, or spend each day praying over the feet of your very own children- pleading God‘s mercy as to where they might walk –  fierce callings are filled with weeping, humility, and lots of practice holding tightly to Jesus. It’s the most rewarding life possible, and it comes with a high, high price.

I recently read a book by Dennis Peacocke who said, “The greatest tragedy of our age is an unused life.” So, as we begin our study today, here’s to Jeremiah: a real person with a real calling who experienced a gamut of emotions, and wasn’t afraid to have honest dialogue with his Creator. And, here’s to you: a called woman of God who longs to live your ministry well while learning more and more each day that this mission you’re on has nothing to do with you. Yeah, you’re beginning to see the bigger picture, and you hold the thrill of hope down deep inside.

Key Point of Struggle:

Serving Christ doesn’t always look the way we thought it would.

Key Proof of Comfort:

When we learn to refocus and update our definitions of ministry as it relates to kingdom building, we will begin to open our hearts to the purpose of Christ. His purpose and calling for us often looks differently than we expected. To find comfort in this, we will study Matthew 28 and find out how the Great Commission relates to us.

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Kingdombuildingthroughthelifeofjeremiah

Out of every prophet, we can learn the most about the intricacies of ministry, and personal cries of the heart, from the life of Jeremiah. When we read his book, we read his heart. And, because of these Holy Spirit breathed words, we have access into the struggle of an average person called to an above average assignment, to say the least. But, before we can fully dig into the scope of this man’s life, we need to talk about what kingdom building and calling is as it relates to our purpose.

I’m guessing many of you are unsure of your purpose. You have no idea what you’re called to do. Most of us tend to look at purpose in the form of a dream longing to be fulfilled. Or, we don’t really have a dream beyond our day-to-day lives, and that makes us feel as if we are part of an unending search requiring us to look for something we are supposed to have, but don’t. It’s time to change our definitions. It’s time to reevaluate. Is that okay? Here’s why: It’s not about the big dreams. Sorry, it just isn’t. Listen, I’m a dreamer so this has been a hard truth for me to accept. Also, it’s not about seeking out a dream to fulfill. You might not realize this, but right now, at this very moment, you’re living with enormous opportunity to fulfill what you might not even recognize exists. Let me clarify:

According to Mathew 28, Jesus gives a charge called the Great Commission:

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

-Matthew 28:18-20

What does the Great Commission mean to you? Consider answering this question in your journal.

The Great Commission is our common purpose. But many of us tend to read it and think that we are all to become missionaries in foreign lands, lead a women’s ministry at a mega church, or become Mother Teresa. We think that if we don’t do those things, then we aren’t fulfilling the call. Some of us might even think that whatever it is we are doing right now isn’t meaningful enough to be titled kingdom work. It is true that some of us are meant to go to other countries, or to minister to large numbers of people right here at home, but not all of us. How we go about fulfilling our common purpose is unique to each life. Some of us are called to show our neighbors love – in the literal sense – like walk next door with a batch of freshly baked cupcakes, or offer to babysit kids who will surely hang on our curtains and tear up our houses. And here’s something else we often forget: our own kids – the ones staring us in the face at 6am, startling us out of that rare thing we call sleep, well, they’re the definition of our Great Commission. And, that job, regardless of whatever else He chooses to give us in the future, will be the greatest assignment of our lives.

We cannot kingdom build correctly if we make up our own definitions of what kingdom building is supposed to be. We have to understand our worth in Christ doesn’t depend on the calling itself, or our definitions of how enormous we think it should be. Our worth comes from His willingness to use us and our obedience in saying yes.  

Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples.” So, who are the disciples we are supposed to make? I’m pretty sure you’ll be getting some of them off the bus after school today, feeding them dinner, and giving them baths. I’m guessing you’ll be speaking into the life of your spouse and encouraging him to be who Christ called him to become. I think you’ll say something to a friend over coffee that will change how she processes a difficult situation.

 There is a brilliant ministry inside what seems like a boring mess and we don’t often see it.

Jeremiah was called as a prophet for a huge task and the price was high. We are going to discover more about his initial calling next week. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too many words today. You see, before we could really dig into Jeremiah’s life, we needed to adjust our focus and redefine some important principles. That was the point of today.

In preparation for next week:

  1. In your journal, please write Matthew 28:18-20. When you’re done, list the people in your everyday life who you have the opportunity to love and make into disciples. This list can include your children, spouse, friends, neighbors, parents, siblings etc.… after your list is complete, commit to pray for each person on your list throughout the week. (I understand that some of the people on your list may already be serving Jesus, but they do need encouragement. How can you encourage them to keep on keeping on in their journey of purpose?)
  2. In your journal, write down what you think it means to kingdom build and what you think your calling is. Using the Great Commission as God’s definition of purpose, do you think your answers align with His? Why or why not? If they don’t, how can you adjust your focus to get in line with God’s will for your calling?
  3. Between now and next Wednesday, please read Jeremiah chapter one.

Don’t forget to comment under today’s post sharing your thoughts on kingdom building. In doing so, you’ll have a chance to win Never Unfriended by Lisa-Jo Baker! If you’re not on my email list, I would love for you to be part of this kingdom building community! (Subscribing makes you eligible for the giveaway. You can unsubscribe anytime.) For more details on how the giveaway works, click here. I’ll be announcing the winner next Wednesday, May 3rd!

Love,

Jennifer

PS: Share on Social Media what everyday kingdom building looks like to you! We can find each other by using the hashtag #KingdomBuildingSisters.

Five Minute Friday: Exhale

Nothing to Hold but HopeIt’s Five Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo Baker and the prompt is Exhale.

Wednesday was 18 years since we said both hello and goodbye to our daughter Courtney. It was bittersweet. If there is anything I’ve learned from life thus far, it is that the taste in my mouth is never consistent. However, learning to accept God’s will is the reward. After some time passes and I begin to see His perfect plan, then I can take a moment to exhale. It’s all about faith, which is believing in things unseen. (See Hebrews 11:1)

Everything we face here is a process. And process is usually accompanied by anxiety. It’s a time of waiting and figuring things out. While we are in process, we don’t see signs that say turn right or left. This is the number one reason my Bible is tattered and torn. Those thin pages have been cried upon with salt from pain, anger, and love so deep, that it would be incomprehensible for anyone but God to try to understand the heart of the girl who spends her time with eyes locked to the words written there. But it is His word which has kept me sane and enabled me to exhale with less fear and more of knowing He alone is in control.

My book, Nothing to Hold but Hope, released on Wednesday. The same day as, what would have been, Courtney’s 18th birthday. It is my story of the broken bits of bittersweet and sought after joy that comes in the morning through the mourning. It is a ministry tool. It is my heart.

I’ve learned that the bittersweet is what makes the art of our lives. The stories our hearts cry out in the smiles we give and the tears we produce is in some way, art. And it is that art which makes our lives beautiful, interesting, and provides tools to help equip others throughout their difficult moments. We can help others to exhale through their broken pieces with encouragement from our own journeys.

May you blessed today with hope. May you learn to acquire a taste for the bittersweet. May you find trust in the midst of the ache. And exhale…

Love,

Jennifer

Find Nothing to Hold but Hope on Amazon!

Have you entered the giveaway?

Watch the book trailer here.

To find more information, visit the Nothing to Hold but Hope page on this blog.

Are You Afraid to Share Your Message? (Five Minute Friday: Messenger)

Our ScarsIt’s Five Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo Baker. The rules: write for five minutes without editing.Today the word prompt is messenger.

God gave me a story to share – one much different than I expected. It’s wrapped up in tears, anger, hurt, and pain, yet somehow joy was breathing underneath causing hope to rise. Beauty from ashes took on a new meaning for me, and having lived it, I’m now called to be the messenger.

When in the midst of tragedy and unforeseen circumstances we aren’t sure how to handle, the last thing we want to think about is how God is going to use the situation for good. We don’t necessarily want our test to become our testimony. It hurts. We feel that words are better left unsaid and the past should remain in the past.

But God.

But God has called us to shout His glory from the midst of the ashes. When we bring Him glory ashes are transformed into beauty and grace is realized. From the ashes of our stories we can shout a powerful message that will scream hope to the hopeless. Does it hurt? Yes. Is there pain inside of it? Yes. Is it worth it? Oh yes, yes, YES!

To share the message of our souls is to share the beauty of a living and active God in our lives. We have the ability to carry strength and live with purpose. And we all need purpose. We were all born with the spirit of warriors. However, some of us lose the stamina for the fight along the way and forget to use our stories as the cry of our hearts to help lift the burdens of others.

Don’t forget. Fight, warriors, fight.

Use the message of your heart to allow hope to rise. Let the message of your life shout glory to a living God. He lives. He loves. He lives to love you!

Share your message and shout your victory! And whether you feel victories or not, claim it!

My book Nothing to Hold but Hope is releasing July 2nd! It’s my story; it’s my message of hope for you. Look for the book trailer next Wednesday. Have a blessed weekend, friends!

Love,

Jennifer

PS: Saturday only conference passes for The Mercy Retreat go on sale tomorrow! I will share details on tomorrow’s blog post.

Five Minute Friday: Grateful

me and kids 466553_4658894080703_1778383401_oIt’s Friday, and I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker and a group of brave writers. Today the word prompt is grateful.

I’ve been sick for a week and today is the first day that I’m finally back on my feet. It was actually nice to catch up on the housework and do some laundry. I know… those are shocking words coming from me.

The last productive chore I did this evening was picking up toys in the playroom. When I began the job I felt a little angry, unappreciated, and tired of cleaning up the same toys over and over. Toys everywhere all the time is more than a little overwhelming.

And then I remembered how I prayed for more toys to clean up. How I wanted nothing more than the pitter-patter of little feet, crayon marks on walls, and handprints on my stainless steel refrigerator. And then I felt ashamed, because I know there are so many other women who are craving toys on the floor right now. But there are none.

So, when it comes down to it, I’m grateful. I’m grateful for the messes to clean, grateful to play referee between screaming children, grateful for the cherry juice stain on the family room carpet, and grateful for this kind of exhaustion.

To crawl in bed at night hearing nothing but the sweet sound of silence is bliss. And to wake up to small smiles that doctors said would never exist is amazing. You see, after 15 years of secondary infertility, 5 miscarriages, and burying a daughter when her umbilical cord cut off her oxygen supply at 34 weeks gestation, I can say I’m grateful for miracles that run, scream, cry, and drive me absolutely insane.

I’m celebrating Mother’s Day with 3 children because I have a Father in heaven who gave me a miracle that changed my life forever.

He can change yours too! If you are struggling though grief from miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility, there is hope in Jesus. There is life in His purpose for you. There is freedom in the acceptance of His will, though His way, in His time.

Maybe you’re still searching for your miracle, but I have no doubt you are mother to someone. So do me a favor. Celebrate on Sunday! Celebrate that God gave you a mother’s heart and has a wonderful plan for your life. Celebrate His faithfulness in your situation, even if it seems hopeless… I want you to celebrate.

Yes, you with the longing in your heart and the tears in your eyes. You need to celebrate and live grateful for the wonderful which is yet to come. Whatever it is, God has a plan for you!

Happy Mother’s Day to every woman who ever mothered another soul. That’s you! Now go Celebrate!

Love,

Jennifer

My book, Nothing to Hold but Hope, about my 15 year struggle through stillbirth, miscarriage, and infertility is coming out soon. I’ll keep you updated!

 

 

Five Minute Friday: Mess

AGOD Speaking GraphicIt’s Five minute Friday with Lisa-Jo Baker! I’m going to be honest and tell you up front that it took me 15 minutes today, but I have something on my heart, and it’s messy!

Over the past month, I’ve been working to finalize the never ending details of publishing a book. I’m ironing out speaking obligations and am on the edge of doing everything I’ve been praying to do. And somehow I’m not excited. I’m a mess.

Over and over again, I’ve been asking myself, “why?” Why am I not jumping for joy and finding complete satisfaction within this place I’m standing and breathing? Why is it so difficult to open my laptop and work? Why?

My book, Nothing to Hold but Hope, is my story. And sometimes stories are hard to tell. They aren’t made up of sugar and spice. They aren’t the fairy tales and fantasies we were taught to buy into while lying under pink blankets and listening to a soothing voice narrating the beauty of perfection and unmarred happiness.

When I think about the mess of my story, I worry about how messy the stories of my children might end up to be.

I know how difficult it’s been for me to face grief and struggle, and I don’t want my kids to hurt. I want them to experience a life full of fairy tales just like in the books we read together. And, yet, I know deep down that storybooks, regardless of whether they are filled with sparkles for my daughter or super hero’s for my sons, probably won’t be the reality of their lives.

Don’t get me wrong. I pray for protection, guidance, strength, and God’s will for my children. I’m full of faith and know the power of my God, but I want His plan. And I know sometimes the map which leads to His treasure is faded and hard to read. The terrain takes us off road and, dear Jesus, it’s a wilderness out there.

However, it’s not long after the flash of fear hits that my faith kicks into high gear. Hope begins to rejoice again. The mother’s eyes I’ve become accustomed to seeing through become unclouded. I remember who He is and what He’s done. And then I thank Him.

I thank God for His hope.

I remember the hope that filled in faded sections on the map of my life. I remember how He held me upright when I couldn’t find the way to go. When I think hard enough about those moments, I can almost feel the gentle hands that picked me up as I cried out from exhaustion. But most of all, right now in this place, I can open my eyes to the beauty of today and see the treasure all around.

Here, in this moment, I can tell you that every step I took in the dark was worth it because of the light I stand in today.

And if God held me up, then He will surely hold up my children.

When you first look at my story, it might appear to be one of pain and brokenness. However, my scars are lines in a story that shout the beauty of my savior. My story is one of hope because when it seems as if there is nothing else to hold onto… you can always hold hope.

We don’t have to fear for our children. His promises are the same for them as they’ve been for us. And we don’t need to worry about sharing our stories. They are gifts of hope to be transferred from one life to another. Mess and all, they will serve as gifts of courage for our children. We should narrate those stories proudly to them as they lie under pink and blue blankets with expectant eyes full of promise.

We serve a God of promises. He is unchanging, and one very big promise He gave is that He will be God to us. (Genesis 17)  He will be God to our children, to our children’s children and forevermore through the generations until He either returns to us, or we go home to Him. All we have to do is accept Him, believe, and hold onto His hope. He is our Hope!

Can I get an amen?

Now I’m excited!

Have a beautiful weekend, friends.

Love,

Jennifer

Keep your eyes open for updates on my book, Nothing to Hold but Hope.

If you need a weekend of refreshing and pampering, consider The Mercy Retreat!

 

 

Five Minute Friday: Writer (A New Land)

Deuteronomy PromiseI remember a time last year, when playing games with friends, that someone asked a frantic question while trying to earn points for their team, “What does Jen do?” the answer shouted out was, “She’s a writer!” I wanted to look behind me for the “real writer.” I thought, “There must be another Jen in the room.”

I wasn’t used to anyone referring to me as a writer. I had a difficult time owning it. But over the last year, I’ve been on a journey – a God journey. And I’m finally ready to own it.

Let me tell you something, friends: This God we serve is adventurous and exciting. He leads us through uncharted territory and expects us to follow Him while owning the wide open spaces. The land is absolutely beautiful!

I’ve been through my share of struggle, heartache, and shame for situations I could not control. I’ve passed through Job’s neighborhood; I’ve felt Hannah’s pain. And, recently, I’ve been awakened by my own type of burning bush.

God gives us unexpected surprises within moments of personal struggle. (Tweet that.)

Don’t think just because you are still standing in the land of Job that God doesn’t have something amazing for you – a way to bring Him glory and settle peace deep inside your soul. Because He does!

I’ve crawled, stood, walked, jogged, and am finally running through a new land.

For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills;

-Deuteronomy 8:7

The Lord gave me that passage on February 1, 1998. I highlighted it and wrote a note next to it in the margin of my Bible. He spoke it to me as a promise. And here I am 16 years later. I finally understand it. He was preparing me for my gift – a gift to bring Him glory.

It is NEVER all for nothing. You too have a beautiful land to explore. It may take you through deserts. You might feel like Job or feel the same pain as Hannah, but if you open your eyes, you will see the burning bush. It will represent a promise. You have a gift. Use it to bring Him glory!

I write and speak. I tell the stories of His fingerprints all over my life to bring others hope and encouragement.

What is your gift? And, more importantly, how do you use it?

Have a beautiful weekend!

Love,

Jennifer

I’m joining Lisa-Jo Baker for Five Minute Friday. She has a wonderful new book that just hit the store shelves this week! Check it out here.

 

 

Five Minute Friday: Mighty

"Picture Courtesy of freedigitalimages.com"

“Picture Courtesy of freedigitalimages.com”

Today is Five Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo Baker! If you haven’t heard, Lisa-Jo’s first book, Surprised by Motherhood, comes out next Tuesday!

Here is what I love about God: He shows Himself mighty in the stillness of a moment. He turns a normal conversation amongst girlfriends into something sacred. He surprises us with an awesome agenda when He decides to transform our dinner dates into divine appointments.

When we hear the word mighty we often think big, dramatic and spectacular. And, yet, when God meets a need it’s usually done in the heart-to-heart moments of quiet voices and quivering lips. He is so faithful.

I have found that God doesn’t come in a whirlwind and speak audibly to me. He usually shows me something in His word and then confirms it through the gentle hearted voice of a friend. His ocean of grace overwhelms me when He shows Himself strong in unexpected places.

This weekend, I pray you are blessed through the soft word of a friend. May you find that God works inside all situations great and small. I pray you recognize that He cares about every need you have. May your dinner dates turn into divine appointments, and may every need be met by our mighty God.

Love,

Jennifer

Early Bird Tickets for The Mercy Retreat are available through March 31st. You can purchase yours today through Eventbee!

Five Minute Friday: Crowd

Colossians photoIt’s Five Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo Baker and the word prompt today is crowd

When I think of the word crowd I’m reminded of a valuable lesson God taught me last year. I may have mentioned this before on the blog and if you’ve already heard it, I’m sorry. However, I think someone out there could benefit from my story.

Last year, I was away at an event and super excited to meet someone who had shown some interest in me. When I finally met the person, the moment I had imagined in my mind was extremely far off from what really happened. I walked away disappointed. My heart sunk and my dreams seemed to plummet in an instant. Later that evening I sat down on my bed and thought, “I guess I’m not in with the in crowd.”

Now, it’s funny how God will use exactly what we are studying in His word to speak to present circumstances. At the time, I was memorizing Colossians chapter three. And God was quick to bring verse three to my mind…

For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

-Colossians 3:3

Do you see where I’m going with this?  If I died to myself, truly died to my own will and control of my own life, then I should know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my life is hidden with Christ in God and I am, most certainly, in with the in crowd. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the only in crowd I should ever need, or care, to be part of in my life.

God’s got this!

It’s a tough lesson to learn when we have our own plan and timetable for life events, but the whole point is that I need to draw from Him first. I need to care about who He thinks I am.  He loves this over-thinking, over achieving, crazed girl who is living her own real-life-episode of I love Lucy. I struggle and stumble (figuratively and literally) and He always pulls me back in and shows me how much He loves me. Regardless of what anybody else thinks, God loved me enough to send His Son, Jesus, to die for me. And He did the same for you.

You are so loved, so wanted, and so needed! If you’ve accepted Him in your life and died to yourself then your life is hidden inside His. You are in with the only crowd that matters. And just in case you missed it, I will say it again… You. Are. Loved.

Have a beautiful weekend, friends.

Love,

Jennifer

The Last Five Minute Friday of 2013, A Winner Announced, and Another Giveaway! What?! What?!

books for giveaway photoIt’s Five Minute Friday! And, it is the last one of 2013. To read more about Lisa-Jo Baker and a brave group of writers, click here.

Five Minute Friday: Reflect

Go:

As I set the timer for my five minutes of writing, my mind begins to reflect on the past year. I think of where I’ve been, and where I’m going. The end of every year tends to be a time of evaluation and assessing new goals for the future.

However, I must say this: the one thing about blogging is that there is a lot of talking about self. I have to use personal experience to connect to you, and over time I become tired of talking about me. Blah , blah, blah. Though my blog is a ministry and comes from a desire to encourage you, there are days I sit down and wish I could just hear about your day and what God is doing in your life. I really mean that!

Over the next few weeks through Christmas and leading into the New Year, I really want my blog to celebrate you! I want to give you some gifts! I wish I could give them to everyone who reads, I can’t.  But you can enter to win and who knows? Maybe you will!

I started this month of giveaways last week, so before I tell you about my new giveaway, I need to announce the winner of the Ann Voskamp book, The Greatest Gift.

Drum roll please… Barbie Swihart!

I’m so happy she won! Barbie writes a beautiful blog entitled, My Freshly Brewed Life. You should check it out. She also has a new book out that I cannot wait to get my hands on, Coffee Talk with Jesus!

Well, my five minutes is just about up, so I think I’m going to end up cheating this week. Sorry, Lisa-Jo. Today, I need a 10 minute Friday. (Or, maybe 15…)

sge-book-coverThis week I’m giving away a book bundle which includes three books I’ve already read or am in the middle of reading.  I love them, but I’m a book geek! If you’ve already read them, you can give them away as gifts! Trust me when I tell you they are treasures!

Are you curious to know what is in the bundle?

  1. Sparkly Green Earrings by Melanie Shankle. (If you want to laugh, cry, and fall in love all over again with motherhood, then you need to read this book!)
  2. Being OK with where YOU ARE by Stacey Thacker. (Any woman who reads the title of this book alone will know she MUST read it!)
  3. A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman. (This book will literally change your thought patterns on worship, and what you have to offer to the Almighty based on what He has gifted you. Your life is art, friends! Did you know that?)
  4.  Coffee Talk with Jesus by Barbie Swihart. (I can’t wait to read this book and since she won this week, let’s just go ahead and celebrate her twice! I know we are in for a real treat!)

To enter to win, please comment on this post, if you want your entry tripled then subscribe to my blog via email. I would also be blessed if you would take time to share about the giveaway on social media. The winner will be announced next Friday, December 13th.

Thank you for reading. You are a blessing to me!

Ready, set, comment! (or subscribe… yeah, that too!)

Love,

Jennifer

 

 

 

 

Five Minute Friday: Fly

Star and I text photoToday is Five Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo Baker, and the word prompt is fly.

Go:

If you want to fly, you have to endure the process of taking off.

It’s different than standing on top of a mountain, leaping with arms wide open and discovering all the wonder of the world God created.

The viewpoint from the ground is much different. It takes work to propel yourself in the direction of upward motion. And there is also a lot of energy expended through the worry of a possible crash and burn scenario.

For the first time in my life, I’m living audaciously. I’m taking off and beginning the process of flying. It’s not because I’m able, clearly I’m not, it’s because God is able. And for some insane reason He seems to have plans for me, which include a group of women (and one amazing husband) who are going hard after all the things He has planted in my heart. We are now sharing a dream. It’s pretty fantastic.

If you are going to put yourself out there and work to “fly,” then you need a flight crew: a fearless group of people who don’t just watch you attempt “crazy” but actually go there with you.

I’m blessed to have that. And as I’m spending time editing and reediting books I’ve already written, planning retreats, and saying, “yes” to God, I’m not doing it alone.

You can’t either.

I want to encourage you to share your vision and dreams. Share your burdens and prayer petitions. Allow God to surround you with a group of encouragers who can support you through your ups and downs.

Taking off can often be turbulent, but you don’t have to do it alone.

Let go of your fears. To get where God has called you, you will probably have to fly…

Happy Friday!

Love,

Jennifer

PS: If you want to know what dreams I’m sharing with my “flight crew,” you can read about that here.