Mission Trip & Prayer Request

I’m excited but nervous. Today my church took an offering for my trip – $1,000.00! So excited but still receiving opposition from my mom about the trip so it’s making me nervous about going and also squelching my joy and excitement about going. Well, at least only for a little while. It seems that every morning I am getting up and even if I remember the words said between my mother and me about going, I still have the Joy of the Lord!

I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonders.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Psalm 9:1-2

Please pray for me and my mother as well. I pray for her salvation but also that she will have a change of heart and realize that I am an adult and will make choices based on what God has told me to do. I know that as my mother’s daughter I should obey her but what am I to do when what she is telling me is the complete opposite of what God is saying. Also, I have the full backing of my Pastor and Church.

But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

Acts 4:19-20

Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead — whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree.”

Acts 5:29

I pray you all have a blessed week and find the Joy of the Lord even when it seems all is lost for it will come to pass in His timing, not ours.

Jen

Motivate Me Mondays

So this week I am participating in Sarah Mae’s Motivate Me Mondays. The topic today is

Share some advice, wisdom, practical applications, tips you’ve learned, etc. that you think would benefit and motivate others.

Ok. Well, I will quote you one of my favorite Bible verses from Proverbs 13:12(NIV) –

A hope deferred makes a heart sick,
but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

Now, that isn’t necessarily motivating for some. No one wants to be heart sick. It’s not the first part of the verse that motivates me to keep going though. It’s that “a desire FULFILLED is a tree of life.” It is when I think on this that I am encouraged to continue to keep going and not to become discouraged when my hopes are not fulfilled when I want them to be. It reminds me that the desires of my heart will be fulfilled but in God’s timing and not my own.

This is especially important as a single woman. A lot of my friends are married or getting married and I have no prospects in sight. Yet, I was given a promise from God that I would be married and I would have children. When I remember this verse, I am reminded that God has given this promise and He will not back out of a promise He has made. It may just be “delayed” by our own standards.

I hope that I have been encouraging for someone today!

Blessings,

Jen

Happy Valentine’s Day :-)

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I wanted to post a quote by C.S. Lewis:

In love, He claims all. There is no bargaining with Him.

And, of course, the most quoted (and my favorite) portion of Scripture on Love – 1 Corinthians 13:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

I pray you are all blessed today and for those who are married, I pray that today is a refreshing of the love that God has given for your spouses and a refreshing of your love for God. I am going to spend the afternoon in His Word before having dinner with my girls.

Blessings,

Jen

China 2009

On Tuesday we had a meeting regarding my upcoming trip to China. As it stands, there are only 3 people going including myself. This caused my mother to because more concerned than she was.

First, she is concerned with me leaving the country to a place where I may be persecuted by the people who live there (um, where has she been? Christians are even persecuted here).

Second, she was concerned with my safety and if I would make it home.

Now, she is concerned that I may not have much to do there because I will be the only woman and the only young person going. The two people I will be going with are the president of the organization, Zimmer Foundation for China, and another older gentleman. They have both been on this trip before and are comfortable with the people and their surroundings. She is concerned with the fact that they are familiar and will want to do things that I will not want to do. She would prefer that I go in October when they will be meeting up with a medical mission from Australia and there will be more people around. Ahh!

I’ve been praying about this trip and I feel that God is calling me to go in April. It’s so hard for me to explain this to my parents as they are not saved. Sometimes I feel like when I try to talk to them, I am talking to a brick wall.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

– 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

Blessings,

Jen

The Last Lecture #4 – Are you spending time on the right things?

You may have causes, goals, interests. Are they even worth pursuing? I’ve long held on to a clipping from a newspaper in Roanoke, Virginia. It featured a photo of a pregnant woman who had lodged a protest against a local construction site. She worried that the sound of jackhammers was injuring her unborn child. But get this: In the photo, the woman is holding a cigarette. If she cared about her unborn child, the time she spent railing against jackhammers would have been better spent putting out that cigarette.

– Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing.
2 Kings 17:12
So, when I reread this, I was going to Google for a picture of a pregnant woman in front of a construction site smoking a cigarette. I changed my mind. I think the visual the above quote gives is enough.

I believe this is something we are all working on, though. I find that I am becoming more discerning and more apt to say “no” to something when I need to. There are many good causes out there. How do you choose which one(s) to get involved with?

I’ll be honest, I want to get involved in a lot of causes but I just can’t. I’m pursuing God and my degree. I can only spread myself so thin before something rips.

Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
– James 2:18-26
This passage in James is something I deal with. When I was younger and going to a Catholic church, we were taught very much about good works. And don’t get me wrong, I believe all young Christians should know about good works and about doing good works. However, I believe that they need to have an understanding of faith first before they can do good works.

Like other believers, I like going to conferences and hearing someone speaking a message that will edify the Body. That is all well and good but what about the unbelievers who need to see our faith by how we live and what we do. As Children of God, we are called to act different so that even if our outside looks like the world, our actions show that we are NOT of the world. We may dwell here for a time and have been called as stewards of the Earth, but this is not our home.


And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

– Genesis 2:15

I’m not suggesting that we all get involved with every single cause out there or that you should stop pursuing certain interests but are they worth pursuing? Will these interests and causes show your faith? One interest of mine is photography and scrapbooking. I love to take pictures of the people I love and the places I visit. Not just because I enjoy it but because I want people to see how I see the world – how the Christ in me sees the world. I don’t just see the outward but I see the inward beauty as well. I will actually be acquiring a new camera in the next week and am hoping to be able to get out in the next few weeks to do some shooting. Hopefully I will get to post them as well.

I hope that this post was insightful.

Blessings,
Jen

The Last Lecture #3 – You can always change your plan, but only if you have one.

I’m a big believer in to-do lists. It helps us to break life into small steps. I once put “get tenure” on my to-do list. That was naive. The most useful to-do list breaks tasks into small steps. It’s like when I encourage Logan (his son) to clean his room by picking up one thing at a time.

– Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Now, this post may be hard to find Biblical backing on, since we all know that no matter what we plan, God will change it if it’s not in His plan. God will use whatever He needs to, to get us to believe and do what He needs us to.

In Exodus 13:17 (NIV), it says, “When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”” See, God knew that if he left the planning up to the Israelites, they would have taken the route that would have caused them to go back to the place he just rescued them from. He also knew that they were not ready for the potential war they would have to face traveling through the land of the Philistines.

Whether a person realizes it or not, God has a plan not only for them but for this world as well. I know that I, myself, have thought in the past that if I screw up once or twice, that God would change his plan for my life. I know that is not true because I know that God will not forsake me when I stumble. He will help me to get back up again. When we do stumble, it doesn’t change the plan. It may delay us getting to the goal or cause us to go on a detour but the end result is still the same.

Now, I know there are some goals we can all plan out, such as getting through school or planning a wedding where we need to have a “to-do list” of the steps to get to that goal, but we also have to allow for what God has planned in the midst as well. A personal example for me is getting through school. When I started my courses, I had to meet with my advisor who planned out what courses I would take for the next five or six semesters. I didn’t worry much about the classes I was taking each semester because of this. I had my schedule and each semester I would cross check to make sure that the registrar’s office scheduled according to my advisors plan. Luckily for me I didn’t have to worry about much because each semester went as planned and if something happened to change that, I had the ability to change it again or just go with the flow. I know God his hand over me when my courses were planned out because another woman, who is in many of my law courses, has been going to the same school and had many problems with her schedule that caused her to take unnecessary courses and it prolonged her graduation.

Especially in the past year I have learned that I have to be more flexible because I may plan something to go a certain way but God may have a better or different plan. I try not to plan too far in advance for small stuff because I know God may change that. Even the big stuff like my mission trip I am being very flexible about. I am planning to go to China in April but something may come up and I might not be able to go then. If that’s the case, I’ll go in October when they go again or I might not be able to go.

My motto is, “Whatever God wants.”

I hope you are all blessed today,

Jen

The Last Lecture #2 – Time must be explicitly managed, like money.

My students would sometimes roll their eyes at what they called “Pauschisms,” but I stand by them. Urging students not to invest time on irrelevant details, I’d tell them: “It doesn’t matter how well you polish the underside of the banister.”

– Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Ok, so I was planning on writing this blog post three days ago but I got involved in trying to finish a paper for my class that was due on Saturday, going to the movies with friends, going to class, finishing my taxes, going to a prayer meeting in Boston, church service, fighting with my computer, etc. Now that I got that out of my system, on with my post!

So when I first read chapter 23, I’m on My Honeymoon, But If You Need Me…, in Randy Pausch’s book The Last Lecture, I wasn’t expecting it to be a lesson in time management. The quote above was actually what he had written under the heading of Time must be explicitly managed, like money.

His Pauschism didn’t make too much sense to me at first either. My first thought, after realizing this chapter was on time management, was, “What does polishing a banister have to do with time management?” After reading it a couple more times, I realized he was trying to say that if you worry about the little stuff – like how shiny the underside of the banister looks when no one will notice – you will waste precious, valuable time. I seem to be the master of this lately.

One example: I have a major case of senioritis when it comes to my homework. I just can not seem to focus when it comes to my homework. I really haven’t had much homework to do for this course. Three papers. That’s all. And they aren’t that difficult either. So why procrastinate if they are so easy? I wish I could tell you. I cold probably pull a few dozen Scripture from Proverbs on laziness and procrastination but I’ll just give a few:

  • Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseers or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. – Proverbs 6:6-8

I know this one is pretty harsh but it is something to think about. Ants live in colonies. They all have their own “job” to do and do it. No ifs, ands or buts. The ones that go out to get food find the food and bring it back for the colony. They don’t stop somewhere on they way to get the food or on the way home. They don’t get distracted. They stay on task. Something to think about.

  • Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. – Proverbs 10:4

This also seems self explanatory. I’ll give you a visual though: Two men work in a factory doing the same job. Both are married with kids. One goes to work and does just what is expected of him. The other goes above and beyond his job. The man who does only what is expected stays in the same position until he retires. The man who diligently goes above and beyond what is expected of him excels and gets promoted as well as receives multiple raises for performance.

On dictionary.com, the definition of the word diligent is: “constant in effort to accomplish something; attentive and persistent in doing anything.” For myself, I need to become diligent in managing my time better, even if that means I have to schedule my days until it becomes second nature.

  • Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid. – Proverbs 12:1

When most people think of discipline, they think of punishment. Yes, that is a definition of discipline but the use of discipline here is “training to act in accordance with rules; drill.” We all need to be trained to act in accordance with the rules of society and manners. For all the mom’s out there, I’m sure you all train (or at least, try to train) your children in manners and the polite way to handle themselves for when they are older.

Now, I’m not saying my parents didn’t but I wasn’t just influenced by my parents. Growing up, both of my parents had to work. My mom worked during the day but usually didn’t get home til around 5 or 6. We had babysitters. We went to public school. There were outside influences that I feel, unfortunately, made it difficult for me to become disciplined. These aren’t excuses and I’m hoping they don’t come across that way. These influences just made it easier for me to see all the diversions out there. I am paying for it now.

So, now I’m working on becoming more disciplined. Or, at least, trying to. This week I’ll be working on trying to modifying my morning routine so that I don’t run out of time. It shall be interesting….

Blessings,
Jen